Understanding your super responsibilities

Learn about your super responsibilities as a business owner. We have provided you with all the important information you need to know about super and your business.

Super and your business

What does super mean for business?

Super Guarantee (SG) is a compulsory contribution which all employers need to make on behalf of each of their eligible employees. Employer contributions are paid directly to each employee's nominated super fund, or a default fund on their behalf.  The Superannuation Guarantee (SG) legislation was created to help Australians with saving for their future retirement. 

Why is it important to pay super contributions?

Super is one of the biggest financial investments your employees will ever make. It’s money saved throughout their working life, and invested so they’ll be better off when they retire.

Who gets super?

Employees that are eligible for super include workers that are 18 years or over and earn a minimum of $450 (before tax) in a calendar month, regardless of how many hours they work. 

Employees under 18 years old must earn a minimum of $450 (before tax) and work more than 30 hours per week.

How does Rest invest its super?

A member can choose from a range of investment options; if a member doesn’t make a choice, we'll invest their super in our MySuper product – the Core Strategy investment option. In addition to investing our members money across different investment markets using a range of asset classes and investment strategies we consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in the process.

Do I need super as a business owner?

As a business owner we know your priority is ensuring your business’s success and profitability. Paying yourself super is generally placed at the bottom of the list and many business owners will tend to neglect their own super. Super for business owners is just as important to your future, by paying regular contributions you will receive tax benefits and have a savings pool to help you achieve your retirement goals.

Getting started

What is a default fund?

A default fund is the super fund that you pay an employee's SG contributions if they don’t nominate their own fund.

Choosing a default fund

The default super fund that you choose must be: 

  • a complying fund (which is one that satisfies the requirements under superannuation law) 
  • registered by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to offer a MySuper product. 
  • meet SuperStream requirements, which means employee superannuation guarantee contributions and data are sent electronically in a standard format.
If you are interested in choosing Rest as your default fund can speak to an employer representative about how Rest can help your business.


Industry awards

Before selecting a default fund, check if you are under any state award or industrial agreement. Fair Work Commission has created modern industrial awards to protect employees in specific industries.

The future of super

Government legislation changes

The government have proposed a scheme to reduce Australians having multiple superannuation accounts when they change jobs as part of the FY20/21 Federal Budget. Having multiple super accounts means multiple fees and charges which may reduce overall retirement income.

The scheme proposes workers to be ‘stapled’ to their existing super accounts, so that their super account will automatically follow them when they change jobs, unless they choose to roll over into another superfund.

When the government provides further information about this scheme, we will update you on what this means to you as a business owner.  

Offering your employees choice

What does it mean to offer employees choice?

Choice of Fund legislation allows eligible employees to choose which super fund their contributions are paid into. However, if they don’t make a choice, you can choose a MySuper product to pay super into on their behalf. 

Who is eligible for choice?

As an employer you are responsible for identifying which employees are eligible to choose their fund. 

Employees can generally choose their super fund if they are:

  • employed under a federal award
  • employed under a former state award, now known as a ‘notional agreement preserving state award’
  • employed under another award or agreement that does not require super contributions, or
  • not employed under any state award or industrial agreement (including contractors paid principally for their labour).

Employees are generally not eligible to choose a super fund if you pay super for them under a:

  • state industrial award
  • preserved state agreement
  • federal industrial agreement such as an Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA)
  • if they are in a defined benefit fund.

What do I give my employees?

For those employees who are eligible, you must provide a Standard Choice of Fund Nomination form to them within 28 days of their start date. If they do not have a superfund, they can nominate to select your default fund of choice. 

Paying SG contributions

How much to pay?

As an employer, you must pay a minimum of 9.5% of each eligible employee's ordinary time earnings (usually the amount your employee earns for their ordinary hours of work) each quarter. If your employees are covered by an award or employment agreement which specifies a higher super contribution than 9.5%, you must pay that higher amount. These payments may be claimed as a tax deduction.

When to pay?

Rest recommends making monthly payments. Employers that aren’t required to contribute on a monthly basis under an award or industrial agreement can choose to make quarterly contributions. The SG deadline date is set 28 days after the end of each quarter (28 October, 28 January, 28 April, 28 July).

Failure to pay super can result in the ATO applying a penalty known as the SG charge. It may include the SG shortfall, interest and an administration fee which is not tax deductible and will result in an added expense to your business.

How do I submit my contributions?

You will be able to submit your contributions online with your default superfund. Employer contributions are paid directly to each employee's nominated super fund, or a default fund on their behalf.

Keeping records

The government requires employers to keep records of:

  • how your employee SG contributions are calculated
  • transactions of SG contributions for each employee
  • evidence you have offered eligible employees a choice of super fund and provided Standard choice form to all eligible employees. 
  • employees not eligible and offered choice
  • nominated default fund and MySuper product offered to employees

What is a clearing house?

A clearing house allows you to make a single online payment for superannuation contributions to all employees' super funds. The clearing house then distributes the required payments to all your employees' super funds on your behalf.

How do you pay with a clearing house?

You can pay super online for all your employees at the same time, no matter which super fund they are with, through one of the following online methods:

  • a clearing house accessible via EmployerAccess, SCH Online.
  • another clearing house not accessible through Employer Access. Fees and charges may apply. You should refer to the clearing house provider for more information.
  • the Government’s Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is available if you have 19 or fewer employees or have an annual aggregated turnover of less than $2 million.
  • your payroll provider. Your payroll provider may be able to arrange payment of super for your employees. Fees and charges may apply. You should contact your payroll provider for more information.

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