Important changes to superannuation will see the gradual introduction of MySuper and SuperStream in order to make the administration of super easier for employers.
Effective 1 January 2014, employers must make SG contributions on behalf of those employees who do not have a choice of fund, to a fund that offers a MySuper product.
Employers will be required to choose a MySuper product as their default super fund with the following features:
- A single diversified investment option;
- A single price – fees must be the same for all members and there must be no entry fees, adviser fees or commissions; and
- Death and Total & Permanent Disability insurance, which members can opt out of.
The aim of SuperStream is to streamline the processing of transactions in a more efficient, easier and faster process through the introduction of electronic payment systems and standardised data.
What this means to employers is that the sending and receiving of super transactions will be done electronically in a simple, standardised process. This will eliminate the need for cheques and manual contribution listings.
The new data standards are mandatory for medium to large employers (20 or more employees) from 1 July 2014.
For employers with less than 20 employees, the new standards will be applicable from 1 July 2015.
Please refer to the following website for more information: www.ato.gov.au/datastandards
Changes to the Super Guarantee rates
Changes to the minimum SG levels will be transitioned over the coming years. The first change is from 1 July 2013 when the rate increases from 9% to 9.25%.
Removal of age limit for SG contributions
Effective 1 July 2013, the upper age limit for paying super will be abolished. Removal of this limit is to encourage mature age workers to stay longer within the workforce. What this means to employers is that you may have to make SG payments for eligible employees aged 70 years or older. To see if an employee is eligible, use the Superannuation Guarantee Eligibility Decision tool on the ATO website at www.ato.gov.au/yoursuper
In the future, employee payslips may need to be modified to display super contribution details that have been made on their behalf. The government is expected to make further announcements confirming these requirements and its commencement date.
The $25,000 super cap
The concessional contributions cap is the limit on the amount of concessional contributions an employee can make each year before paying additional tax. Concessional contributions include employer paid SG, employee paid salary sacrifice and any other employer contributions made to super. For the 2012-13 year the concessional cap was $25,000, regardless of age or super balance.
Any amount over the concessional contributions cap will be taxed at an additional 31.5% (including Medicare levy).
The recent Federal Budget proposed that the concessional contributions cap will be increased to $35,000 from:
- 1 July 2013 for those aged 60 and over;
- 1 July 2014 for those aged 50 and over.
For further information on legislative changes and updates please go to the Australian Taxation Office website www.ato.gov.au