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Maximise the amount your employer pays to your super
While you are working, your employer is required to make contributions into your superannuation fund equal to a rate of 10% of your ordinary times earnings (OTE).1 This is called the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) and is a before-tax contribution.
Your employer is required to make payments at least quarterly, and you should be eligible to receive employer contributions if you are aged 18 or older and earn more than $450 a month. To see how much super you're being paid, check your payslip, log in to Member Online, or download our app.2
Some employers, including the Queensland Government, may make higher contributions to your super.
While employers are usually only required to pay super at the compulsory rate of 10% at a minimum, some employers have special arrangements in place. For example, they may pay super at a higher rate, or will pay more if you make extra super contributions yourself. If you're unsure what your employer offers, check with your payroll office.
There are also other ways you can grow your super in addition to the contributions from your employer, such as making additional voluntary after-tax contributions or regularly salary sacrificing.
Many Queensland Government employees – such as those working for Queensland Health or the Department of Education – are required to make 'standard contributions' of between 2% and 5% of their fortnightly superannuable salary.3
However, if you work for the Queensland Government and make standard member contributions, your employer will contribute up to 12.75% to your super, depending on how much you contribute.
Your standard contribution rate will depend on your account type and will be different if you are a police officer, so click the tab relevant to you below.
With a Defined Benefit account, your retirement benefit is calculated by multiplying a number that reflects both your years of service and your contribution rate (your multiple) with your final salary. Find out more about Defined Benefit accounts.
If you have a Defined Benefit account and have been paying standard contributions of less than 5%, this may result in you having less when you retire. It's possible to catch up by paying standard contributions of up to 8%. Call us on 1300 360 750 to find out if you're eligible.
If you are a police officer, have a Defined Benefit account, and have been paying standard contributions of less than 6%, this may result in you having less when you retire. It's possible to catch up by paying standard contributions of up to 9%. Call us on 1300 360 750 to find out if you're eligible.
Standard contributions can be made either before-tax by salary sacrificing, or as after-tax contributions. If you earn more than $45,000 per year, salary sacrificing could be a tax-effective way of making standard contributions, as you pay 15% tax on your contributions, instead of your marginal tax rate (which could be up to 47%, including the Medicare Levy of 2%). You could then contribute your tax savings into your superannuation, potentially growing your retirement savings without decreasing your take-home pay.
Jane works for the Queensland Government. She earns $72,500 per year, and makes standard after-tax contributions to her super of $3,625 (5%) per year.
If she makes this contribution to her super as a before-tax salary sacrificed contribution, her tax payable will decrease from $15,480 per year to $14,229. This means her take-home pay increases from $53,395 to $54,626.5
Jane could then contribute the difference to her super, meaning she is growing her retirement savings without affecting her take-home pay.
Take the next step to maximise your employer contributions. For non-Government employees, simply contact your payroll office to discuss your options.
For Queensland Government employees, you can start or change your regular after-tax super contributions by completing this form (pdf) and giving it to your payroll office. If you would like to salary sacrifice your standard member contributions, please contact your payroll office directly.
For more information about employer contributions, read our Personal Contributions Guide (pdf).
Get financial advice about growing your super over the phone.6
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1. Your SG rate is based on your ordinary times earnings (OTE), which is generally what you earn for your ordinary hours of work, including commissions, shift loadings, and allowances, but not overtime payments. For more information, see ato.gov.au/super
2. If you’re a Defined Benefit account member, we use a formula to calculate the concessional contributions associated with your account, which are called notional taxed contributions. Find out more about contribution caps.
3. Your superannuable salary is your permanent salary plus any allowances that have been approved for inclusion by the Governor in Council.
4. Your employer performs a calculation to ensure at least 10% of ordinary time earnings (OTE) is paid as an employer contribution, and will make an additional top-up contribution if required.
5. This case study is provided for illustrative and educational purposes only, and the members shown are not real. Additionally, figures may be rounded for ease of understanding. Members should seek advice from a qualified licensed professional, regarding their own circumstances. This case study is only to show how salary sacrificing works, and does not take into account your personal tax liability. The calculation is based on tax rates for the 2020-21 financial year and includes the Medicare levy but does not include any tax offsets. It is assumed for the purpose of the case study that all terms and conditions have been met.
6. You can find out more about financial advice options or contact us.