Where does super money come from?

Step 1 of 3

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.

  • Fact 15

    Primary industry suffered severely in the 1930s due to drought and the Depression, so the government introduced three new taxes to support farmers: the flour tax, the wool tax and the apple and pear tax.


An amount paid back by the ATO to a taxpayer when the taxpayer has paid more tax than they are liable to pay.

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