Superannuation and your obligations as an employer

It is the employer’s responsibility to pay superannuation (super) to their workers to provide for their retirement. 

First, as a general rule, the employer has to contribute 9.5% of an employee’s  regular earnings, whether they are full-time, part-time or casual employees.  The term “regular earnings” refers to what the employee normally earns for his/her hours of work, including sales commission, over-award payments, shift loading, allowances and bonuses. Overtime, on the other hand, does not attract super.

Super is only payable on earnings up to $206,480 pa (or $51,620 per quarter). In some cases, super is not payable at all:

  • If an employee earns less than $450 per month
  • If an employee is under 18 years of age
  • If an employee is a private or domestic worker (a nanny or a housekeeper, for example) working less than 30 hours per week.

If you are employing non-residents outside of Australia or if you are yourself a non-resident employer, we recommend you check out the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) page on this matter: https://www.ato.gov.au/business/super-for-employers/working-out-if-you-have-to-pay-super/employees-working-overseas/

Note that you need to pay super at least 4 times a year. If you don’t pay your super on time you may be hit with some extra charges.

For any additional questions regarding your super obligations, we recommend you get in touch with the ATO for more tailored advice via their superannuation infoline at 13 10 20.

If you have any questions about this sometimes complex topic please be sure to consult with your HR or legal adviser.