Many Aussie employers are required by law to make superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions for eligible employees every financial quarter. They need to make sure the respective super funds receive these contributions before the due date specified by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for that quarter. If they fail to do so, they will need to pay a superannuation guarantee charge (SGC) and file a statement with the ATO. Employers may utilise a clearinghouse service to simplify making super contributions. In this case, they need to allow for the time it may take the clearinghouse to deposit the super contributions in employees’ super funds.
What are the quarterly superannuation payment due dates?
Superannuation payments like most financial payments follow the ATO’s financial calendar, this means the year is split into four quarters. For superannuation guarantee due dates, they fall on the 28th of the month following the fiscal quarter’s final month. The superannuation guarantee payment being made by this due date is the one for the quarter that’s just ended.
As the Australian financial year starts on 1st July, the first financial quarter is from July to September. Per the ATO, the due date for superannuation payments for this quarter falls on 28th October. As the financial calendar ends on 30th June, super payments for the April to June quarter are due on 28th July. A full list of the quarterly due dates for super contributions are below:
- 28th October, for the July to September quarter which ends 30th September
- 28th January, for the October to December quarter which ends 31st December
- 28th April, for the January to March quarter which ends 31st March
- 28th July, for the April to June quarter which ends 30th June
If any of these due dates fall on a holiday or weekend, payments should be received by the following day. These dates only apply to SG contributions and not for other contributions employers might make, such as salary sacrifice or personal super contributions. Employers can also choose to make contributions on a fortnightly or monthly basis rather than every quarter.
What happens if an employer doesn’t make contributions before the superannuation payment due date?
Employers who miss paying super contributions by the quarterly due date will need to pay the SG charge and lodge the SG charge statement with the ATO within 30 days of the deadline. Suppose an employer’s super contributions for the July - September quarter weren’t received by the super fund by 28th October. The employer must file the SG charge statement and pay the SG charge by 28th November. If they fail to do so, the ATO may take action against them for non-compliance.
Employees who don’t receive the super contributions by the due date can follow up with their employer. They can then follow up with the ATO if they don’t get a satisfactory response from their employer.
When is superannuation due if an employer uses a Small Business Superannuation Clearing House?
The ATO defines a small business as any firm employing less than 20 workers or grossing less than $10 million in revenue. These small businesses can use the ATO’s Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH) to make SG contributions for eligible employees without needing to pay any fees. An added advantage of using the SBSCH is that employers only need to ensure that the contributions are received by the SBSCH by the quarterly due date, rather than by the super fund. However, both the SBSCH and the super fund need to confirm that the payment will not be rejected because of incorrectly entered employee details or similar reasons.
Employees need to remember that SG contributions are considered concessional contributions, and are assessed for tax in the financial year the super fund receives them. If the concessional contributions for the fourth quarter (April to June) are received by the super fund after 30th June. In this case, the employee will have to pay tax on them in the next financial year.