The introduction of electronic lodgement of tax forms in the late 1980s not only reduced the time it took to send out returns from ten weeks to two weeks but had a significant impact on the incidence of repetitive strain injury among data processors at the ATO.
The super guarantee
Currently Australian employers must by law contribute 9.5% of an eligible employee's ordinary time earnings into a super fund. Ordinary time earnings are what you generally earn for ordinary hours of work, including over-award payments, bonuses, allowances and some paid leave. Overtime is not included. For example, if your ordinary time earnings are $15,000 per quarter (three-monthly), your employer must pay $1,425 into your super fund. This amount must come directly from your employer, not from your gross salary.
Your employer must make super guarantee payments on your behalf unless:
- you are under 18 years old and do 30 hours or less of work per week for the employer
- you are paid less than $450 (before tax) in a calendar month from the employer
- the work is of a domestic or private nature, for example as a part-time babysitter or nanny, and is 30 hours or less per week.
Even if you are employed on a casual or part-time basis, you may still be eligible for super guarantee contributions by your employer.
Super is not compulsory for self-employed people, although many do make contributions.
Note: The ATO imposes significant penalties, to encourage employers to meet their obligations.