Superannuation Guarantee (SG)
The SG requires all Australian employers to use Ordinary Time Earnings (OTE) to calculate and pay a percentage (%) of each employee’s earnings to their super.
However, if your employees are covered by an award or agreement that specifies a higher superannuation contribution than the current SG percentage of the employee’s OTE, you must pay the higher amount. Otherwise, you will be in breach of the award or agreement.
The minimum obligation required by employers is set by the Federal Government and is currently set to increase from 9% prior to July 2013 to 12% through incremental increases at the start of each applicable financial year. The current legislated schedule for phased increases in the SG rate is set out below.
|Effective from 1 July||
(% of OTE)
|2017 (current financial year)||9.5|
You can claim a full tax deduction for any SG or award super payments you make on behalf of your employees.
Maximum earnings base
There is a set maximum contribution base for each financial year. In any quarter, employers do not have to pay SG contributions on any earnings above the limit (in proportion for that quarter) but may choose to do so.
The maximum contributions base is indexed each year in line with AWOTE. The limit for each quarter in the 2017-18 financial year is $52,760 (annual $211,040). Check the ATO website for the current quarterly limit.
This limit does not apply to other mandated contributions, such as contributions you pay under an award.