The Super Guarantee

Known as the superannuation guarantee (SG), compulsory employer contributions commenced in 1992 to ensure Australians have some superannuation on which to retire.

How much is SG?

The SG rate is currently 9.50% and scheduled to gradually increase in future years to reach 12% from 1 July 2025 onwards.

Who is eligible?

If you're an employee, chances are you are entitled to compulsory superannuation contributions from your employer. That's because anyone aged 18 or older and paid $450 or more, before tax, in a month is eligible.

It doesn't matter whether you're full time, part time or casual.

People under 18 may qualify for the SG if they work 30 hours or more a week.

Your employer is not required to make super contributions if you're:

  • paid for work of a private or domestic nature of 30 hours or less in a week
  • a non-Australian resident and are paid for work undertaken outside Australia
  • an Australian resident paid by a non-resident employer for work done outside Australia
  • a senior foreign executive on a specific class of visa 
  • temporarily working in Australia and covered by a bilateral superannuation agreement.

Contractors may be eligible for a SG payment if they work under a contract that is wholly or principally for their labour. To find out more, visit the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) website

Choosing a super fund

Most people can choose the super fund they want their SG contributions paid into. You can let your employer know where you want your super paid using the Superannuation standard choice form. This can be done by:

  • completing it using ATO online services
  • a pre-filled form (paper or PDF)
  • downloading the form from the ATO website.

If you don't choose a super fund, your employer will choose one for you. This will be an authorised 'MySuper' fund that offers a lower fee base and basic features. To learn more visit the Australia Prudential and Regulatory Authority (APRA) website at and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website at

How is SG calculated?

Your SG payments are a minimum percentage of your earnings base. As from 1 July 2008 all employers are required to calculate the minimum SG contributions using Ordinary Time Earnings (OTE). This is what you earn for your usual (or ordinary) hours of work and included in OTE may be items such as Allowances (excluding reimbursements), Casual shift loading, Bonuses, Annual leave, Long Service leave, Sick leave, Commissions and the like.

The Maximum Super Guarantee payment employers are required to pay is based on a maximum quarterly earnings amount. This is referred to as the Maximum Contribution Base. Employers are not required to pay SG on earnings above these limits, which are quite high. See the ATO websitefor details. 

When must SG be paid to my super?

Employers must make SG payments for eligible employees into a complying super fund at least four times a year. The cut off dates for each quarter’s payments are in the following table:

Quarter Period Payments must be made by
1 1 July – 30 September 28 October
2 1 October – 31 December 28 January
3 1 January – 31 March 28 April
4 1 April – 30 June 28 July