The Process of Growing Your Super

Your Super from Your Employer


If your employer is eligible and they are currently paying for a super guarantee (SG) contribution, they are required to pay into your super account once every three months at a minimum. The minimum percentage your employer must pay in is 9.5% of your ordinary earnings, and this goes up to your maximum contribution base. If your employer is on Norfolk Island, they should be paying into a super guarantee at a 1% rate. This rate is set to increase over the next twelve years. The ATO will classify any of these payments as employer contributions. These payments count toward your pre-tax contribution cap. The ATO defines ordinary time earnings as the amount you earn from ordinary working hours. This includes allowances, bonuses, commissions, and paid leave. If you work overseas for an Australia employer, the employer is required to keep contributing to your super guarantee in Australia. Neither of you will have to pay a super guarantee in another country if the country in question has a bilateral social security agreement with Australia and your employer obtains a Certificate of Coverage from the ATO.


Your Super from the Government


You might be eligible for a super co-contribution to help boost your retirement fund. If the government classifies you as either a low or mid-income earner, they will contribute to your super fund up to $500. You will have to make less than $37,000 annually and you can have this $500 maximum paid directly to you once you reach retirement age. To be considered eligible, you need your super to be lower than the general transfer balance cap for that year, and any contributions you made that year can't be greater than your non-concessional maximum for that year.


Adding to Your Super


You can add funds to your super by entering into a salary sacrifice arrangement, making a personal contribution, by transferring super from foreign supers, and you may also be eligible for a contribution from the Government.

  • Government Super Payments. If you are a low or middle-income earner who makes less than $37,000 per year, you may automatically get a payment from the Australian Government sent into your super account. This has a cap of $500 per year.
  • Payment from Foreign Super Funds. You may be eligible to be paid by a foreign super fund if you transfer your foreign super to an Australian super fund, or you can transfer the money to yourself. There are certain conditions you must meet, but if you do, you'll be allowed to transfer your foreign super funds either to yourself or your Australian super.
  • Personal Contributions. A personal contribution is an amount you put into your or your partner's super fund after you have had taxes taken out of your pay. If you're currently an employee, you won't be allowed to claim a deduction for any personal contributions that you made before July 1st, 2017.
  • Salary Sacrificing Super Fund. You can arrange not to get a portion of your wages from your employer and have them go into your super fund. Your employer will contribute a similar amount. The ATO will define these contributions as being under an employer super contribution. These contributions can be taxed up to 15%.

Super funds can be confusing, especially if you have multiple payments from different entities each year. If you want help, or if you have questions, contact EtaxPlus. We'll assist you in any way we can to make this tax season easy and stress-free.