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Super from your employer

Find out how much super your employer must contribute to your super fund (known as super guarantee).

Last updated 1 August 2023

Super guarantee

If you’re eligible for super guarantee (SG) contributions, your employer must pay the minimum SG contribution based on the current super guarantee percentage of your ordinary time earnings (up to the maximum contribution base).

Generally, all employees are eligible for SG. It doesn't matter if you're:

  • full time, part time or casual – except that if you're
    • under 18 years old, you're only eligible for SG contributions if you work more than 30 hours in a week
    • paid to do work of a private or domestic nature, you're only eligible for SG contributions if you work more than 30 hours in a week
     
  • receiving a super pension or annuity while working (including employees on transition to retirement income streams)
  • a temporary resident, such as a backpacker – with some exceptions
  • a company director
  • a family member working in the employer's business.

You're eligible for SG regardless of the amount paid – how much you earn is not relevant (up to the maximum contribution base).

Your employer must pay SG contributions into your super account at least every three months. You may be able to choose the super fund your SG contributions are paid into.

Employers who don't pay SG contributions in full by the due date (28days after the end of the quarter) or into the right fund must pay the super guarantee charge to us. We then pay SG shortfalls and any interest into your super account. (See Unpaid super from your employer.)

SG payments are classified as employer contributions and count towards your concessional (before-tax) contributions cap.

Any salary sacrifice super contributions or other contributions your employer makes on your behalf are additional to your SG entitlement.

From 1 January 2020, salary sacrificed super contributions will not:

  • reduce the ordinary time earnings that your employer is required to calculate your super entitlement on
  • count towards the amount of super guarantee contributions that your employer is required to make in order for them to avoid the super guarantee charge.

The Am I entitled to super? tool will help you confirm whether or not you're entitled to SG contributions.

Ordinary time earnings

Ordinary time earnings are generally what you earn for ordinary hours of work, and include:

  • over-award payments
  • commissions
  • allowances
  • bonuses
  • paid leave.

Ordinary time earnings don't include overtime. The Estimate my super tool will help you calculate your SG entitlement.

Any amounts you salary sacrifice are not deducted from the ordinary time earnings amount on which your SG entitlement is calculated.

Contractors

If you're a contractor but considered an employee for super purposes, you may be entitled to SG contributions from your employer.

If you’re a contractor paid wholly or principally for your labour, you’re considered an employee for super purposes and entitled to super guarantee contributions under the same rules as employees.

A contract may be considered ‘wholly or principally for labour’ if:

  • you’re paid wholly or principally for your personal labour and skills
  • you perform the contract work personally
  • you’re paid for hours worked, rather than to achieve a result.

For super to apply, the contract must be directly between you and your employer. It can’t be through another person or through a company, trust or partnership.

To work out if you’re entitled to super guarantee contributions see Employee or contractor.

Working overseas temporarily

If you work overseas for an Australian employer for a temporary period, your employer must continue to pay super contributions for you in Australia.

You or your employer won't have to pay additional super (or its equivalent) in the other country if both of the following apply:

However, your employer is not required to make super contributions if you’re:

  • a foreign resident for tax purposes who is paid to do work outside Australia
  • an Australian resident for tax purposes who is paid by a non-resident employer for work done outside Australia.

Working in Australia temporarily

Your employer is not required to make super contributions if you’re:

  • a senior foreign executive working in Australia on a certain class of visa
  • temporarily working in Australia for an overseas employer and are covered by the super provisions of a bilateral social security agreement.

With multiple employers you may be able to partially opt out of SG

If you have more than one employer and expect their super contributions will exceed your concessional contributions cap, you can apply to opt out of receiving SG from some of your employers.

Check if you can opt out of receiving super guarantee from some employers to avoid exceeding the contributions cap.

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