Changes to employers’ super obligations in 2013

With the new year well underway, businesses should watch out for the changes below, all of which are effective from July 1, 2013:

a. Changes to the super guarantee rate

As you most probably make super payments on behalf of your employees based on the minimum 9% super guarantee rate, you will need to increase this to 9.25% from the start of the new financial year. Update your payroll and accounting systems to include the increase to the super guarantee rate.

b. Removal of super guarantee upper age limit

There is no upper age limit for paying super for an employee from the start of the next financial year.

This means you may need to make super guarantee payments for eligible employees 70 years or older. Check if you have any employees 70 years old or older who may be eligible to receive super payments and arrange to pay super contributions into their chosen fund from the start of July.

c. New payslip obligations

You may be required to report more information about the super contributions paid to your employee on their payslip when the calendar flips over to July 1. This change is still subject to consultation with the industry and a further announcement will be made by the government.

If you are unsure of your general superannuation employee obligations, read the following table.

Employers’ super obligations
Are you an employer for super purposes? Yes, if you employ a person under a verbal or written employment contract on a:

  • full-time basis
  • part-time basis
  • casual basis

You may also be an employer for super purposes if you make payments to a contractor

Do you have to pay super for your employees? Generally, you have to pay super for your employees if they:

  • are between 18 and 69 years old inclusive (set to change on July 1, 2013)
  • are paid $450 or more (before tax) in salary or wages in a calendar month
  • work full-time, part-time or on a casual basis
Are you self-employed? If you’re self-employed, you don’t have to make super contributions for yourself. However, you may consider super as a vehicle for retirement savings. Most self- employed people can claim a full tax deduction for contributions they make to their super until they reach 75 years old
Do you have to pay super for contractors? You may have to seek specific advice in relation to contractors
When do you pay super contributions?
  • Quarter 1 (Jul-Sep) – by October 28
  • Quarter 2 (Oct-Dec) – by January 28
  • Quarter 3 (Jan-Mar) – by April 28
  • Quarter 4 (Apr-Jun) – by July 28

If a cut-off date for a payment falls on the weekend or a public holiday, you can make your payment on the next working day after that date

How much super do you pay? Until the end of the 2012-13, you need to pay a minimum of 9% of each eligible employee’s ordinary time earnings. From July 1, 2013, the rate will increase to 9.25%
Can you claim a tax deduction? Super contributions are generally tax deductible in the financial year you pay them
Where do you pay super contributions? You need to pay contributions into a complying super fund – which may be a super fund chosen by your employee – or a retirement savings account
Do you need to offer your new employees a choice of super fund? You need to provide a Standard Choice Form (NAT 13080) to new employees who are eligible to choose a super fund within 28 days of the day they start working for you
Do you need to report additional employer super contributions on the employee’s payment summary? If your employees choose to salary sacrifice some of their before-tax income in addition to compulsory contributions, you will need to report this
What records do you need to keep? You need to keep records that show:

  • the date and amount of super you paid for each employee
  • how you worked out the level of super you paid
  • that you have offered your eligible employees a choice of super fund • the details of the super fund that you paid your employee’s super into
What if you don’t meet your super obligations? You’ll have to pay the ATO a super guarantee charge

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