How much super to pay

The amount you pay is usually a percentage of each employee’s monthly or quarterly “ordinary time earnings”. That percentage is called the superannuation guarantee and is currently set at 9.5%, although this may vary depending on individual awards.

To work out the amount you need to contribute, simply multiply the employee's “ordinary time earnings” for the relevant month or quarter by 9.5%.

“Ordinary time earnings” are generally what your employees earn for their ordinary hours of work and include:

  • over award payments,
  • commissions,
  • allowances (except reimbursements or expense allowance),
  • bonuses (except those unrelated to performance criteria),
  • shift or casual loading, and
  • paid leave.

“Ordinary time earnings” generally do not include overtime.

The Government passed new legislation in September 2014 to defer the SG rate increase to 12% until 1 July 2025. The below table outlines the new schedule for increasing the SG rate to 12%:

Date SG Rate
1 July 2014 9.5%
1 July 2015
1 July 2016
1 July 2017
1 July 2018
1 July 2019
1 July 2020
1 July 2021 10%
1 July 2022 10.5%
1 July 2023 11%
1 July 2024 11.5%
1 July 2025 12%

For more information on the superannuation guarantee (including the Federal Government's proposed changes) call the ATO on 13 10 20, or visit the ATO website.

When the payment deadlines are

As an employer you have a responsibility to ensure you pay your employees’ super payments in a timely manner. If you don’t, you may find you need to pay the ATO’s SG charge.

For superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions we recommend making monthly payments. Employers that are not required to contribute on a monthly basis under an award or industrial agreement can choose to make quarterly contributions.

Quarterly superannuation guarantee (SG) Deadlines

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

To meet the deadlines we must receive your payment before the close of business of that day.

To make sure a direct debit payment is received on time, you need to submit your grid before 3pm on the day you want the contribution to be allocated and we’ll do the rest.

For BPAY payments you will need to be mindful of your financial institutions’ processing time-frames and we recommend you allow at least three business days for payments be received.

Voluntary after-tax contributions made by your employees need to be sent to us within 28 days of the end of the month in which the deduction from the employee’s salary was made.

Claiming a tax deduction

You can claim a tax deduction for super payments you make for employees in the financial year you make them. Contributions are considered paid when the super fund receives them; it’s not enough that the money has left your bank account. We suggest that you pay before 17 June to allow sufficient time for the funds to be transferred. Visit the ATO’s website for more information.

Processing of your payments

The processing of your payments may be delayed if we do not receive all the information required to process the transaction, or if we do not receive payment for your contribution. If for any reason we can’t allocate a contribution to an account, including if we can’t get all the information we need, we will need to return it. Only the contribution amount we received will be returned to whomever it was received from. Any interest earned on the contribution before it was returned will be held in the Fund’s reserves for the benefit of members.

What happens if you miss your SG payments?

Failing to pay the SG contribution by the deadlines listed above may result in you having to pay an SG charge, which is not tax deductible and will result in an added expense to your business.

Sunsuper does accept the payment of super guarantee contributions after the due date. However, you are still liable to pay the superannuation guarantee charge to the ATO, and please be aware that even if you are audited by the ATO, Sunsuper is unable to return your late payment.