How super works
Super is your savings for your future, so it pays to understand how it works and how to get the most out of it.
Your employer pays money into a super fund for you and we invest it on your behalf
Super is savings for your retirement and an important part of your financial plan for the future.
Who earns super?
Generally, you earn super if you’re:
- age 18 years or over and earn $450 or more (before-tax) in a calendar month, or
- under age 18 years, earn $450 or more (before-tax) in a calendar month, and work more than 30 hours in a week.
How much super should I get?
Your employer needs to pay at least 9.5% of your before-tax earnings into a super fund on your behalf. This amount is on top of your earnings and adds to your overall salary.
Some workplaces may have an agreement in place that will provide higher rates of super contributions above the 9.5% minimum.
You earn $5,000 in a month before tax. Your employer needs to pay an extra 9.5% ($475) into a super fund for you.
How super savings work
While you’re working, your super balance will grow through:
- contributions from your employer
- extra amounts you (or your spouse) put into your account
- any government boosters you’re eligible for
- transfers from other super funds
- positive investment returns (money earned on the investments we make on your behalf).
Regular deductions and things that will reduce your super balance are:
- contributions tax that’s payable when money goes into your super account
- fees we charge for managing your account
- insurance fees (if you have cover with us)
- transfers to other super funds
- negative investment returns.
A note about investment returns
Investment returns can be positive or negative. Positive returns will make your balance go up. Negative returns will make you balance go down. Over the long term, investment returns should outweigh investment losses. This, along with your regular super contributions, will help your super grow.
Boost your super
You can grow your super faster by paying extra into your super. This can be done directly through personal contributions or through your employer using salary sacrifice. Find out how.
Access your super
Super is your savings for retirement, so there are rules about when you can access it. Generally, you can access your super when you stop working and meet a condition of release. You can then choose to have your super paid to you as a regular income or as a lump sum. Find out more.
Tax benefits of super
Super can be a tax-effective way to invest in your future
How money paid into super is taxed
Money paid into super from your before-tax salary (called before-tax contributions) is taxed at 15%. This includes super paid by your employer, salary sacrifice amounts, and any personal contributions you claim as a tax deduction.
The tax you pay on money going into your super account is generally much lower than the tax you pay on your regular income.
Your employer pays $475 into super for you — $71.25 goes to contributions tax and $403.75 goes into your account.
If you earn more than $250,000 in a financial year (including super), you may have to pay an extra 15% tax on some or all of your before-tax contributions.
You don't pay any tax on money paid into super from your after-tax salary (called after-tax contributions). This includes voluntary payments you make directly into your account using BPAY®.
How investment earnings in super are taxed
Your super is invested in one or a mix of investment options with the aim of growing your savings through investment returns.
Investment returns are taxed at up to 15%, depending on which option you're invested in. This is generally less tax than you’d pay on investment earnings outside of super.
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