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Ordinary time earnings

Not all income is the same

As an employer, you must ensure that you’re calculating the right amount of compulsory super each time payments are due.

The amount you need to pay is based on an individual employee’s ordinary time earnings.

Is that different from their take home pay?

It can be. Ordinary time earnings are generally what your employees earn for their ordinary hours of work, including:

  • Regular salary
  • Over-award payments
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Allowances
  • Paid leave.

What’s not included?

Overtime is not generally included, even if someone regularly works overtime as part of their job. There is a list of similar exclusions on the ATO site.

What if I don’t get the amount right?

If you don’t pay the right amount of super for each employee, you could be hit with the Superannuation Guarantee Charge, which includes interest and an admin fee.

Make sure you keep good records

By law, your business must keep records that clearly show the amount of super you paid each employee and how you worked out that amount. You can use any record-keeping method you like, as long as it meets the following criteria:

  1. Your records are kept for five years
  2. Your records are in English, or a form that can be easily accessed and converted to English
  3. Any records kept electronically must use software that’s broadly available, so that the information can be easily accessed for future reference.