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How do you calculate superannuation?

Alex Ritchie avatar
Alex Ritchie
- 3 min read
How do you calculate superannuation?

If you’ve ever looked at your payslip and wondered how they came to the figure outlined for your super contributions, you may be curious as to how you calculate superannuation.

Your superannuation is your retirement nest egg, and the compulsory funds that are taken from your pre-tax income and deposited into your fund are calculated at a very specific rate. This is also known as the ‘super guarantee’.

To calculate your superannuation, you will need to know two things:

  1. Your current pre-tax income
  2. The current rate for the super guarantee

According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the minimum super guarantee is calculated as a percentage of eligible employee earnings (ordinary time earnings). For most of the 2010s, this rate sat at 9.5%. However, it has been steadily increasing, with an aim to reach 12% by 2025.


General super guarantee

1 July 2018 – 30 June 2019


1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020


1 July 2020 – 30 June 2021


1 July 2021 – 30 June 2022


1 July 2022 – 30 June 2023


1 July 2023 – 30 June 2024


1 July 2024 – 30 June 2025


1 July 2025 – 30 June 2026


1 July 2026 – 30 June 2027


1 July 2027 – 30 June 2028 and onwards


Source: ATO.gov.au

Calculating your superannuation payments

Now that you know the current super guarantee rate, you can determine the amount of super that your employer should be paying.   

Let’s say that you earned $50,000 per annum and were currently in a financial year where the super guarantee was 11%. Your super payments should be 11% of that $50,000 figure, so your contributions that financial year should be $5,500.

If you’re struggling to crunch the numbers, the ATO provides a superannuation estimation tool that does this hard work for you.

Note that your employer may not make payments every single week or month into your super fund. As an employee, your super contributions are required to be paid by your employer on at least a quarterly basis across the financial year, i.e.

  • 1 July – 30 September
  • 1 October – 31 December
  • 1 January – 31 March
  • 1 April – 30 June

Because of this, most businesses will generally pay into your superannuation account once every three months.

Unpaid super? What to do if your employer isn’t paying your super

Unfortunately, just because your payslip shows your super as being paid, doesn’t actually mean your employer is transferring these funds (if any) into your super account.

You can check this by going to the ATO online via your myGov login, and viewing super contributions paid into your super fund by your employer, as your employer should advise the ATO of how much super they are required to pay into your fund.

Compare super funds

Product database updated 25 Jun, 2024

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.