A bookkeeper in Melbourne explains: how does employee superannuation work?

April 9, 2018

Australians are working longer and retiring later.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there’s been dramatic change in the last five years alone! Back in 2013, the average retirement age was 53.8 years – now, it’s increased to 61.5 years.

Bookkeeper in Melbourne

And when Aussies opt to retire, they are then able to qualify for two sources of retirement income:

  • The Age Pension  – paid to you by the Australian government and funded by taxpayers
  • Superannuation – paid through contributions made during employment

While super is a huge part of employment down under, many Aussies don’t have a clear understanding of how the system works, and what obligations their employers owe to them.

Maximum Business Solutions will walk you through the process of paying your employees’ superannuation, and how we can help businesses comply with the government’s super policies and requirements.

What does superannuation really mean?

But before we jump into the “dos and how tos”, we need to understand what Superannuation truly is.

As mandated by the Australian government through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), businesses have an obligation to contribute to their employees’ superannuation funds, which are generally only accessible in retirement.

As required, businesses and employees have to contribute a minimum of 9.5% based off on an employee’s regular earnings. Employers are obliged to pay your superannuation for employees who are:

  • Paid over $450 per month (pre-tax)
  • Over the age of 18 years old
  • Working over 30 hours a week (in the case of underage workers)

Despite what many people believe, super doesn’t care about your working arrangement.

Whether you’re full-time, part-time employees or casual employee, as long as you meet these criteria, you qualify for super. It even covers those who are still on temporary residency status!

How and when is superannuation paid?

The ATO is pretty strict on super payments: businesses and employees are required to pay their superannuation guarantee on their employees’ behalf quarterly or every three months at least.

To avoid penalties and other violations, it’s important that contributions are reported on time.

Superannuation Guarantee QuarterDue date for contributions
1 July – 30 September28th October
1 October – 31 December28th January
1 January – 31 March28th April
1 April – 30 June28th July

As part of their responsibilities, businesses and employers must pay to their employees’ super fund of choice.

And when onboarding new staff, employers must provide a “Standard Choice Form” to all new and eligible employees coming into the organisation within 28 days.

Employers are also required to provide the “Standard Choice Form” if:

  • A current employee requests one (you are only required to fulfil this once every 12 months)
  • You are not able to contribute to the chosen fund of the employee or it is no longer a complying fund
  • You will be changing your employer-chosen default fund

Where does your bookkeeper come into the picture?

They say that the different halves of your brain are optimised for different tasks.

While there’s significant debate in academic circles about whether or not this theory is true, the fact remains that some people simply aren’t built for numbers, end of story.

You can see where we’re going with this!

Many business owners don’t have the time or know-how to handle superannuation on their own.

A bookkeeper, on the other hand, does.

Bookkeepers deal with business finances ranging from expenses, budgeting and – you guessed it – superannuation.

Handing off your superannuation obligations to a qualified bookkeeper in Melbourne ensures compliance, as well as accuracy, the importance of which can’t be overstated!

Additionally, your bookkeeper can also look after a huge range of other financial services to keep your business’s finances healthy.

Bookkeeping Services

Do you need help managing super contributions? Call a bookkeeper in Melbourne!

As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate. Regardless of the kind of business you run, your list of day-to-day responsibilities can get pretty long!

If you feel swamped and need help in fulfilling your superannuation obligations, Maximum Business Solutions is here to help with all types of small business bookkeeping services.

Based in Melbourne’s Bayside, we are here to help you take care of your superannuation responsibilities correctly, accurately, and on-time.

We ensure that all your super obligations are calculated and forwarded to the ATO before the quarterly deadlines, including:

  • Super guarantee records
  • Choice of super fund records
  • Super guarantee reporting requirements

In addition to processing superannuation, we can also look after a huge range of other financial services for you.

If you wish to learn more about how Maximum Business Solutions can help you with your superannuation obligations (or anything else related to your business finances), give us a call on (03) 9589 0218.

Away from the phone? Get in touch with us here to arrange a catch-up!