9 Superannuation Obligations Small Business Not to Ignore

Superannuation is more than a retirement savings plan; it’s a legal responsibility for Australian small to medium businesses (SMBs). Ensuring compliance with superannuation obligations is crucial not just for avoiding penalties but also for fostering positive employee relations. Here’s a checklist of nine superannuation obligations that Australian SMBs must prioritize.

1. Register for Superannuation

First things first: Ensure your business is registered to manage superannuation contributions for your employees. Understand your obligations under the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) scheme.

2. Know the Current SG Rate

The Superannuation Guarantee rate is currently 10.5% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings. However, it’s scheduled to increase gradually to 12% by July 2025. Keep this rate in mind when calculating contributions.

3. Identify Eligible Employees

Almost every employee over 18 who earns $450 or more before tax in a calendar month is eligible for super contributions. This also includes some contractors and temporary residents.

4. Choose a Default Super Fund

Your business must offer employees a choice of super fund. If they don’t choose one, you must contribute to a default fund that offers a MySuper option.

5. Meet Contribution Deadlines

Super contributions must be paid at least quarterly. Missing these deadlines can result in the Superannuation Guarantee Charge, which includes the superannuation payment, interest, and an administrative fee.

6. Maintain Accurate Records

Keep detailed records of all super contributions for each employee for five years. These records must demonstrate you’ve met all obligations and allow employees to track their super payments.

7. Provide Employee Statements

Regularly provide employees with statements that detail their super contributions. This transparency is key to building trust and ensuring compliance.

8. Understand Tax Deductibility

Super contributions for employees are tax-deductible up to the SG rate. Ensure your contributions are made on time to take advantage of this deductibility.

9. Stay Informed on Changes

Superannuation laws and rates change. Staying informed about these changes is critical to ensure ongoing compliance and effective financial planning.


For Australian SMBs, managing superannuation is a significant responsibility that requires diligence and understanding. By adhering to these nine obligations, businesses can ensure they remain compliant, avoid penalties, and maintain positive relations with their employees. Superannuation is an investment in your employees’ futures. Handling it with care reflects the value you place on your team and their contributions to your business.

Consider partnering with a financial advisor or utilising payroll and superannuation services like those offered by Carmody Accounting to navigate the complexities of superannuation. This support can safeguard against common pitfalls, ensuring your business and your employees are set up for success.

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