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Staying ‘super’ compliant

Employers have a legal responsibility to pay eligible employees superannuation to provide for their retirement. And although most employers do the right thing, some do try to bend the rules which can see them facing hefty penalties.

Employees are entitled to superannuation if they are paid $450 or more before tax in a calendar month, this is known as the super guarantee (SG).

To remain complaint, employers must pay SG quarterly using SuperStream. Not paying on time or not paying the right amount may mean you need to pay the super guarantee charge (SGC) and you cannot claim a tax deduction for super payments.

Additionally, employers must report and rectify missed, late or underpaid SG contributions by lodging an SGC statement by the due date.

The ATO reminds employers who are able but unwilling to meet their obligations that they are breaking the law. Firm compliance action is taken for employers who:

– Repeatedly fail to pay the correct amount of SG
– Attempt to obstruct the ATO’s ability to determine an SGC liability
– Repeatedly fail to keep appointments
– Repeatedly fail to supply information that is irrelevant, inadequate or misleading
– Engage in any culpable behaviour to delay the provision of information.

The compliance history of an employer will determine the action of the ATO and the penalties to be applied.

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News

Protect yourself from early super release scams

August 7, 2018

When it comes to protecting your nest egg, avoid getting caught out by a promoter of an illegal early release super scheme.

Early release super scheme scams will involve a promoter contacting you and offering to help you access your super early. They usually target individuals under significant financial pressure or those who are not knowledgeable about super laws and the repercussions and penalties involved in illegally accessing your super.

You can only access your super when you meet a condition of release.

Generally, when you:
– Are 65 years old (even if you have not yet retired).
– Reach your preservation age and retire.
– Reach your preservation age and begin a transition to retirement income stream while still working.

There are special circumstances where you may be able to access your super early.

These special circumstances include:
– Severe financial hardship
– Temporary or permanent incapacity
– Compassionate grounds
– Temporary residents leaving Australia
– Super death benefits (inheriting super)
– Super less than $200
– Terminal medical condition

To avoid falling for an illegal early super release scam, be wary if the promoter:
– charges high fees and commissions;
– requests identity documents;
– claims you can access your super and put the funds towards whatever you wish;
– and tries to persuade you to transfer or rollover your super from your existing fund to a self-managed super fund (SMSF) in order to access your super before you are legally entitled.