Superannuation is an important part of your employees' retirement savings. And it pays to know what your super obligations are. If you don't follow the super rules for employers, it could mean extra charges for your business.

Employer super contributions

Who to pay super to

Generally, you must pay the superannuation guarantee (SG) to your employees if they are:

  • Age 18 years or older – if younger than this, they must be working more than 30 hours a week
  • Full-time, part-time, or casual employees.

It doesn't matter how much they earn.

You also have to pay super to contractors if you pay them mainly for their labour, even if they quote an Australian business number (ABN).

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What happens if you don't pay super

You'll have to pay the superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) if you don't pay super on time and to the right fund. There are also extra charges if you keep missing payments.

How much super to pay

The current super contribution rate – known as the superannuation guarantee (SG) – is 11% of your employee's ordinary time earnings (OTE). This is the minimum that most employers need to pay to their employee's super account.

OTE means the total of:

  1. Earnings for ordinary hours of work. This includes all forms of paid leave, other than any of the following lump sum payments made on the termination of employment:
    • A payment for unused sick leave; or
    • An unused annual leave payment, or unused long service leave payment, within the meaning of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.
  2. Amounts for over-award payments, shift loadings or commissions.

To work out how much super you need to pay, you can use the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)'s SG contributions calculator or contact us for help.

Queensland Government employers

Many Queensland Government employers changed their super arrangements from 1 July 2023. If you're one of these employers, your employees don't have to make standard contributions anymore (excludes defined benefit members). And what you pay to their super may change.

If you're not one of these employers and your people make standard contributions, you may need to pay a higher rate.

Standard contributions are personal super payments of between 2% and 5% of an employee's salary1 that they can pay before tax by salary sacrificing, or as after-tax contributions.

The rate you pay depends on what type of QSuper account they have. If you’re unsure of the super arrangements for your employees, please contact us.

Read our frequently asked questions (FAQs) to find out more about making payments.

Your employee pays You pay2
2% 9.75%
3% 10.75%
4% 11.75%
5% 12.75%
Your employee pays Their multiple increases by
2% 0.135
3% 0.160
4% 0.185
5% 0.210

Find out more about how the Defined Benefit account works.

Your employee pays Their multiple increases by
3% 0.140
4% 0.175
5% 0.210
6% 0.245

Find out more in our Police Account Guide (pdf).

How to pay super

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Offer a choice of super funds

Before you start paying super to an employee, they need to choose their super fund. Here's how to do this:

  • Give new employees a superannuation standard choice form within 28 days of them starting their job
  • Start paying super into their chosen fund within 2 months of getting the form back
  • If your employee already has a QSuper account, they can fill out a QSuper Nomination Form (pdf) to let you know their account details (so we don't automatically open a new account for them).

If your employee doesn't choose a super fund:

  • You may have to check with the ATO if they have an existing super account (a stapled super fund)
  • You'll need to choose a default super product for any employees who don't already have a super account.

For Queensland Government employers or if QSuper is your default super product:

Give this superannuation standard choice form (pdf) to your employees to choose their fund. If your new employee doesn't choose a super fund, we'll automatically open a QSuper account for them once you start making contributions.

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Send their tax file numbers (TFNs)

When an employee gives you their TFN, you need to pass it on to their super fund within 14 days, or when you make their first super payment. You can do this via a clearing house like Employer Direct.

If you don't pass on their TFN: The ATO may fine you, and your employee won't be able to make personal super contributions. They may also pay more tax on their super.

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Pay super online

You'll need to use a SuperStream-compliant electronic facility to pay your employees' super. A simple way to pay is using a clearing house like Employer Direct, our free online portal.

A clearing house is a payment facility that lets you easily make super contributions to multiple super funds in a single transaction.

Find out more
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Reportable employer super contributions

If you make extra super contributions for employees, you'll need to report these to the ATO as reportable employer super contributions. These include:

  • Salary sacrifice contributions
  • Extra contributions as part of their salary package
  • Pre-tax payments directed to super like bonuses
  • Extra employer super contributions above the SG rate.
Learn more

When to pay super

The Australian Government sets the rules on how often employers pay super. Employers have to pay super at least 4 times a year, by the quarterly due dates shown below. The rules on when to pay are set by the Australian Government.

Paying your super contributions on time means you can claim them as a tax deduction, and avoid any penalties from the ATO.

Make sure you allow for processing times.

Quarter Period Due date
1 1 July - 30 September 28 October
2 1 October - 31 December 28 January
3 1 January - 31 March 28 April
4 1 April - 30 June 28 July

Superannuation reporting requirements

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is the way you have to report your employees' tax and super information to the ATO.

To meet the STP requirements, you need to report super payments from your payroll system each time you pay your employees. Employer Direct can help you do this. It sends the right information to the ATO when you process super payments through the system.

You also need to keep records that show that you have given each employee the option to choose their super fund.

1. Standard contributions are based on a person's superannuable salary, which is their permanent salary, plus any allowances that the Governor in Council has approved for inclusion.
2. You pay an employer super contribution of up to 12.75% of your employee's gross salary. You may need to make an extra top-up contribution to make sure the employer contribution is at least 11% of ordinary time earnings (OTE).