Think HBR

Back to basics – your super obligations

Ian Morante
Nationwide Super
Superannuation can be a complex and confusing topic – which is not ideal for busy, time-poor people who want to focus on the things they really enjoy about running their business.
Once you understand who you need to make super contributions for, the rest of your obligations are reasonably straightforward.
Choice of Fund for your employees
Employees in most industries and businesses have the right to choose which super fund or retirement savings account will receive their Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions.
Generally, you’re obliged to offer your employees this choice of fund within 28 days or commencing employment with you.
If you need help to determine whether your employees need a Choice of Fund or to download the form, visit the ATO at
MySuper - When your employees don’t make a choice
If your employee doesn’t have an existing super fund, or doesn’t make a choice, you will generally have to make SG contributions to a fund offering a MySuper product, and if your business is governed by a Modern Award, your options for this ‘default’ fund are nominated in your relevant Award.
Superannuation Guarantee (SG)?
If you employ a person under a verbal or written employment contract on a full-time, part-time or casual basis, you are required to pay SG contributions where they are:
• At least 18 years old or under 18 and working at least 30 hours per week; and
• Earning at least $450 per month (before tax).
When to pay
You must pay SG amounts at least each quarter, but if it suits your business you can choose to pay more frequently. You have 28 days after the end of each quarter for your contribution to be paid and received by the super fund.
The following table is a reminder of the key periods and cut-off dates:
SG Quarter Date payment due*
1 July – 30 September 28 October
1 October – 31 December 28 January
1 January – 31 March 28 April
1 April – 30 June 28 July
*Where the cut-off date falls on a non-business day, the next business day is used instead.
You should also be aware that if you don’t pay your SG contributions by the deadline, you may have to pay an SG charge to the ATO, which is not tax deductible.
Amount to pay
Currently, you must pay at least 9.5% of your employees’ ‘ordinary time earnings’ to super each quarter.
‘Ordinary time earnings’ is the amount your employee earns for their ordinary hours of work, including loadings, allowances, bonuses and commissions, but excluding overtime.
How to pay
Following implementation of the government’s SuperStream legislation, there are also rules around making super payments electronically, and standards for the contribution information you need to supply to super funds. For details, ask your current Fund or visit the ATO website.
For more information, or any help you may need to understand your super obligations, call the Nationwide Super team on 1800 025 241.
Ian Morante Ian Morante

Ian Morante is CEO of Nationwide Super. Ian has over 25 years’ experience in the superannuation industry and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Newcastle University, a Diploma of Financial Planning, a Diploma of Financial Services (Super), an Advanced Diploma of Financial Services (Super) and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees.