Superannuation guarantee contributions

Under the Superannuation Guarantee, employers must contribute the equivalent of a certain percentage of an employee’s earnings each year to the superannuation fund of their choice.

Compulsory Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions are currently set at 9.5%. From 1 July 2021, they will begin to increase progressively to 12% by 1 July 2025. Find out more about the Superannuation Guarantee rate.

SG contributions are ‘concessional’ contributions that are taxed at 15%, rather than at the employee’s marginal tax rate. This 15% contributions tax is paid at the time the contribution is paid into a ‘taxed’ fund, or at the time the member withdraws the benefit from an ‘untaxed’ fund.

Employers who fail to make sufficient contributions for their employees become liable for the Superannuation Guarantee charge.

Calculating SG contributions

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For Australian employees under Commonwealth law, SG contributions are generally calculated as 9.5% of Ordinary Time Earnings (‘OTE’).

Find out more about OTE in the Australian Tax Office’s guide Super for Employers

For State public sector employees, SG contributions are generally calculated as 9.5% of a broader range of salary items including OTE.  

Ordinary Time Earnings (OTE)
(‘Section 4B’ contributions)   
PLUS ‘Section 4C’ contributions
(additional items for State workers)

Find out more about the treatment of common allowances for superannuation in the guide How to Calculate Contributions for Public Sector Employees.

Exceptions

This contributions base is used by all State public sector employers except those listed in State Superannuation Regulation 12E who are exempted from the State Superannuation Act 2000. These employers are only required to use OTE as the base for SG contributions, except for contributions to a defined benefit scheme. Find out more about employer exemptions from State superannuation requirements.

Contributions for members of defined benefit schemes

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OTE and SG concepts do not apply directly to members of defined benefit schemes such as the Gold State Super and Pension Scheme administered by GESB or the Fire and Emergency Services Superannuation defined benefit fund: 

  • superannuation contributions for Gold State Super members are generally calculated on employee payments, except where specifically excluded under State Superannuation Regulation 17A
  • superannuation contributions for Pension Scheme members are based on the requirements of section 6(1) of the Superannuation and Family Benefits Act 1938
  • the contribution rules for the Fire and Emergency Services Superannuation schemes, the Parliamentary Pension Scheme and the Judges' Pension Scheme are set out under their respective legislation.

Reporting contribution data

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All WA Public Sector employers are required to comply at payroll level with the SuperStream standards set out by the Australian Taxation Office.

The State’s policy on the implementation of SuperStream data and payment standards by WA Public Sector Employers is set out in the State Policy on SuperStream Data Standards.

Page reviewed 19 February 2020