As an employer, it can be challenging to keep up with all the news and legislative changes that may impact your business and your employees. These super legislation updates are designed to help you stay in touch with recent changes in legislation.
Below you’ll find an overview of recent legislative changes for the start of the year plus general news for employers including information about AustralianSuper’s response to COVID-19 and how our investment team is working to reduce the impact on members’ retirement savings.
Supporting Australia’s employers
COVID-19 has probably led to many changes in the way you run your business and manage your team.
AustralianSuper's COVID-19 employer webpage has information on changes to laws and information about government assistance packages and business-related resources.
JobKeeper Payment and SG contributions
As a wage subsidy program, the Federal Government’s JobKeeper Payment is helping many employers meet their payroll obligations.
For employees whose wages are higher as a result of JobKeeper, you don’t have to pay additional superannuation, as their SG payments will be based on their earnings before JobKeeper. SG payments for employees who earn more than $1500 a fortnight (and JobKeeper makes up part of their earnings) will still be calculated according to their earnings.
Investment performance update
Read the latest updates from the AustralianSuper investment team and see how the fund has responded to COVID-19 market volatility.
Business and industry updates
Early access to Super
Many AustralianSuper members who have been severely financially impacted as a result of COVID-19 have taken advantage of the Government's temporary early access initiative which gives them access to up to $20,000 of their super over two payments.
People financially affected by COVID-19 may be eligible to access up to $10,000 before 1 July 2020, and a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 to 24 September 2020. More information on early access to super is available on the AustralianSuper website along with a reminder for members to think about other types of financial support they could be accessing and the long-term effects on retirement savings.
Outstanding SG payments? The Superannuation Guarantee amnesty is now law
If you have outstanding SG amounts, you can apply to the ATO before 7 September 2020 to take advantage of the Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty. Under the terms of the amnesty, eligible businesses pay what’s owing and claim deductions without incurring admin charges or penalties. You’ll need to declare and pay any SG shortfalls and interest charges. Payments made by 7 September 2020 can be claimed as tax deductions.
Payment plans can be arranged through the ATO and if your business has been affected by Covid-19, you can apply for a flexible payment plan that extends beyond 7 September 2020.
Changes to salary sacrifice arrangements
The Government has made changes to the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 which impact on salary sacrifice arrangements and mean that:
- contributions made as part of salary sacrifice arrangement don’t count toward the discharge of an employer’s SG obligations, and
- SG must be paid on the pre-salary sacrifice base.
Your Superannuation, Your Choice
The Your Superannuation, Your Choice bill was passed by the House of Reps earlier this year but has been delayed as a result of COVID-19.
The proposed changes will let employees under enterprise agreements or workplace determinations made after 1 July 2020 choose their own super fund for payment of employer contributions. This means some staff could change super funds.
If you’re concerned about paying into multiple accounts, it may be worthwhile to consider using QuickSuper. Free for employers, QuickSuper lets you make one payment for all your employees, no matter what super fund they belong to.
A simpler, fairer insurance system for under 25s and members with low balance accounts
The Federal Government’s Putting Members’ Interests First (PMIF) legislation means members can opt-in for insurance if they are:
- new members under 25 years old, and/or
- have accounts with balances below $6,000
AustralianSuper introduced opt-in arrangements for its under 25s members back in 2018 in an industry-first move to prevent account erosion and make the system fairer for young members.
Protecting Your Super (PYS) Package removes unnecessary fees and insurance costs
Coming into effect from 1 July 2019, Protecting Your Super means
- fees on accounts with $6,000 or less will be capped at 3%,
- exit fees will be abolished to remove a barrier to consolidating accounts,
- inactive low-balance accounts will be transferred to the ATO after 16 months, and
- insurance cover on inactive accounts will be cancelled after 16 months unless the member decides to extend their cover.
Member products and services
Find out member numbers in a flash
AustralianSuper members will need their member number to access the AustralianSuper App, and their online account. To find out their member number your staff can use the new ‘Find my member number’ tool.
Handy for when staff approach you or your payroll team for help. All they’ll need is their date of birth, postcode, email or mobile phone number to get their number.
Grief Support Service – there when it’s needed most
AustralianSuper members who have lost a loved one or have received a terminal illness diagnosis can access Grief Support sessions for themselves (or immediate family members) through their insurance cover with our provider, TAL.
If you have a staff member who may benefit from this service, we encourage them to get in touch with their Claims Case Manager to find out if they are eligible.