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Superannuation, commonly known as ‘super’, is a Federally mandated system designed to help people save for their retirement. It is a mandatory contribution made by employers on behalf of their employees. The superannuation system is regulated by the Australian government, and its main purpose is to ensure that individuals have sufficient funds to support themselves in retirement.

Small business employers are required to contribute a percentage of their employees’ ordinary earnings to a superannuation fund. This is known as the Superannuation Guarantee (SG), and the current rate is 11%.

Who Receives Super?

Generally, all employees are eligible for super guarantee. It doesn’t matter if the employee is:

Full time, part time or casual

Receiving a super pension or annuity while working (this includes employees on transition to retirement)

A temporary resident, such as a backpacker

A company director

A family member working in your business.

There are additional eligibility rules for:

Employees under 18

Domestic or private workers


International workers

Self-employed people

High income earners who opt out of super

Source: Australian Taxation Office

Super Obligations

As an employer, it is essential that you:

Provide eligible employees with the option to select their super fund. As of November 1, 2021, you may be required to obtain 'stapled super fund' details from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in cases where an employee does not choose a super fund.

Fulfill super contributions for eligible employees on a quarterly basis by the specified due dates or more frequently if necessary. Some contractors may also be eligible for super contributions.

Electronically pay and report super in a standardised format to meet SuperStream requirements.

Direct super payments to compliant super funds.

Confirm the eligibility of employees to choose their own super funds.

Distribute a Standard Choice form to eligible employees.

Inform employees of your nominated employer fund, commonly known as the default fund. If employees have not specified their choice or until they do so, remit their super guarantee contributions to your default fund.

Submit employees' tax file numbers (TFNs) to their super fund within 14 days of receiving their TFN declaration form. If contributions are not made during this period, you can provide the TFN when the contributions are made.

Maintain records of super contribution payments and evidence of offering eligible employees a choice of super fund.

Where is Super paid?

In Australia, employees generally have the ability to choose their own superannuation funds. This is known as the ‘choice of fund’ option. Employees can choose the super fund to which their employer’s contributions are made.

The choice of fund legislation in Australia allows eligible employees to select a super fund that best suits their preferences and financial goals. Employers are required to offer employees a choice of fund and provide them with information about their super fund options.

SuperStream is the mandated method through which businesses are required to submit superannuation guarantee contributions for their employees to super funds. Utilising SuperStream involves the electronic transmission of both funds and data in a standardised format.



Yes, you can claim a deduction for super contributions you make on time to a complying super fund or retirement savings account for your employees. Certain contractor contributions may also be tax deductible.

Employer Nominated Funds (also known as Default Funds) typically refers to a type of superannuation fund where employers select a specific fund for their employees’ superannuation contributions.

Employers can choose to nominate a specific superannuation fund for their employees. However, employees also have the right to choose their own superannuation fund if they don’t have a preference or if their employer doesn’t nominate a specific fund.


You can be personally liable for unpaid super, even if the debt is part of a business liquidation. The ATO can easily track missing super through the Single Touch Payroll system so it is always best to prioritise paying super. Penalties and fines may also apply on failure to meet the Super Guarantee Charge, which attracts interest and administrative fees.

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