Australia Allows Partial Super Guarantee Opt-Out | Mercer

Australia Allows Partial Super Guarantee Opt-Out

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Australia Allows Partial Super Guarantee Opt-Out
Australia Allows Partial Super Guarantee Opt-Out
Calendar21 October 2019

Certain high-earning individuals in Australia who work for multiple employers can partially opt out of the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) to avoid breaching their concessional contributions cap in a financial year, under the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Superannuation Measures No. 1) Bill 2019. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has published information on the partial opt-out measure, which received Royal Assent on 2 Oct 2019, and application forms are now available.

Highlights

  • Employees must apply for opt-outs and can nominate one or more employers to receive the opt-out request. However, employees must still receive SG contributions from at least one employer for each quarter.
  • Employees must submit an opt-out application to ATO for each financial year at least 60 days before the start of the first exempt quarter. However, for the quarter ending March 2020, applications will be accepted until 18 Nov 2019.
  • When ATO approves an application for exemption, nominated employers will receive an “employer shortfall exemption certificate.” The certificate cannot be revoked or changed and will be valid for up to four quarters in any one financial year. The certificate means the employer won’t be liable for the SG charge for not making SG contributions on the employee’s behalf or face other consequences.
  • Nominated employers subject to an employee’s partial opt-out don’t have to agree to it. For example, the employer and employee might disagree on the terms of an alternative remuneration package for the relevant quarter, or the employer might not have enough time to adjust payroll arrangements. Employers also can continue to make SGs on the employee’s behalf. The opt-out doesn’t change an employer’s obligations under a super fund agreement or a workplace award or agreement.

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