Superannuation Guarantee rate remains at 9.5% for 2015/2016 year

The Superannuation Guarantee rate remains at 9.5% for the 2015/2016 financial year, and stalls at this rate for another 6 years. The Superannuation Guarantee rate first increased to 9.5% from 1 July 2014 (the 2014/2015 year).

Based on revised laws, the SG rate will remain at 9.5% for another 6 years, increasing to 10% from July 2021, and eventually increasing to 12% from July 2025 (see table below).

Superannuation Guarantee (SG) is the official term for compulsory superannuation contributions made by employers on behalf of their employees. An employer, regardless of whether they are a small or large business, must contribute the equivalent of 9.5% of an employee’s salary for the 2015/2016 year, as was the case for the 2014/2015 year. (The SG rate was 9.25% for the 2013/2014 year.)

Background: Originally, the SG rate was set to increase to 12% by July 2019 under laws passed by the former ALP government, and then pushed back to July 2020 by the new Liberal government, and then pushed back again to July 2022. In the 2014 Federal Budget, the Liberal government further delayed the SG increase stretching the timeframe over 12 years. Due to negotiations with the Palmer United Party to get the Mineral Resource Rent Tax repealed, the timeframe has now stretched to 1 July 2025 before Australian workers receive 12% SG.

Effective since 1 July 2014, the Superannuation Guarantee percentage increased to 9.5%, and is expected to rise to 12% by July 2025 under the Liberal government, rather than the original starting date of 2019, planned by the former ALP government and what was in place before the Liberals pushed back the starting date.

Note: In short, the SG rate will now remain at 9.5% until 30 June 2021, and will increase to 12% by 1 July 2025.

The Liberal government, in making a downward adjustment in how fast the SG rate will increase over time means that it will take 5 years longer for the SG rate to increase to 12% from the Liberals pre-election commitment, and 7 years longer than originally planned by the ALP .

Background: In May 2010, employed Australians received a pleasant surprise when the then-federal treasurer, Mr Wayne Swan, announced that compulsory employer super contributions were set to jump from the current 9% of salary to 12% by July 2019, an eventual 33% increase in Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions. On 29 March 2012, the proposed increase in SG entitlements received Royal Assent and became law. The new Liberal government promised to continue the SG rate increase, but at a slower rate.  The Liberal government introduced amendments to slow down the increase in the SG rate, and then in negotiations in parliament, further slowed down the SG increase.

The Liberal government promised in the 2014 Federal Budget that the SG rate increase will stall for 3 years (from 1 July 2015), rising to 10% from 1 July 2018. The SG rate would then increase by 0.5% each year until it reached 12% by July 2022. What the Liberal government has now enacted is that the SG rate stalls from 1 July 2015 for 7 years (until 30 June 2021), and then increases by 0.5% each year following until the SG rate reaches 12% from 1 July 2025.

Superannuation Guarantee rates

Financial yearNew SG rates (%)Old SG rates (%)
2012/2013 (starts 1 July 2012)n/a9.0
2014/2015 (starts 1 July 2014)9.59.5
2021/2022 (starts 1 July 2021)10.012.0
2025/2026 (starts 1 July 2025)12.012.0

Source: Adapted from explanatory memorandum for Mineral Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Act 2014

Note: If your employer fails to pay the required rate of SG to your super fund by the quarterly due date, your employer may be subject to the Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC). The SGC is a penalty that your employer must pay to the ATO. The SGC includes the SG owing to an employee or employees, interest on the SG amounts owing, plus an administration fee. Your employer must lodge the SGC statement (if failed to pay SG , or was late paying SG) by the due date and pay the SGC to the ATO. The majority of this SGC will eventually make its way to your super account.

What does the SG increase, and its delay, mean for your retirement plans?

The SG increase, and its delay, has significant financial implications for anyone expecting to remain in the workforce for more than 12 years, because the full 3% increase takes affect from the start of the 2025/2026 year –in 12 years’ time (under the new laws), rather than in 5 years’ time (under the former SG laws passed by the ALP government).

An interesting stumble in the selling of the SG increase, is that the company tax rate was eventually going to fall to 28% which the Government argued would soften some of the SG increase for employers. The promise was that from July 2013, the company tax rate would decrease to 29% (from 30%) and from July 2014, the company tax rate would decrease to 28%. During 2012, the former ALP Government announced that the cut to company tax rates would not go ahead.

In the 2014 Federal Budget, the Liberal government announced a drop in the company tax rate by 1.5%, but an offset levy for large companies of 1.5% to help finance the Paid Parental Leave levy. Smaller companies however will not have to pay the PPL levy, so will benefit financially from the drop in company tax rate.

The PPL levy in its current form is now defunct, and the proposed cut in company tax rate to 28.5%, now promised to take affect from 1 July 2015, looks like it will also die a quiet death.


  1. I think there is enough pressure on small business (and medium business) already with the 9.5% super. Additional taxes and charges already apply on this increased super (increased workcover and payroll tax). Surely some responsibility for retirement has to go on the individual – there is already too much hand holding in our Australian economy. People need to take some responsibility themselves without expecting the employer to take on the additional cost. I’m assuming no one wants pay cut for these percentages to help cover the additional costs? The business owners carry the risks of just surviving, as well as maintaining their staff. The governments have to stop bleeding them for the good of the economy as they are Australia’s largest employers. They are already under immense pressure.

  2. Mick Mccauley says:

    In the Super Guide Newsletter email it made the comment that “Eventually, employees will receive 12% SG, but not yet”. These sorts of incorrect statements often fuel unjustified expectation by the public when these policies are eventually discussed and implemented.

    The statement should have more correctly read that “Eventually, employees will contribute 12% SG, but not yet”. It is the employees money being contributed after all.

  3. There’s nothing really that great about this for anyone who was gets an annual pay increase. My increase was set to be 4.00%, however it’s now 3.75% with a 0.25% increase in super.

    I don’t want more money locked up until I’m ancient. And with at least 30 years until I can access my super I can assure you the Government will tinker with it some more and make it harder to access. I wouldn’t be surprised if I have to wait until I’m 70 to get at it.

    I’m opposed to SGC increases as it reduces my control over my money. Who want’s to work after 50??

    • Laurie J Mackeson says:

      While I prefer individuals to have more control to spend, save/invest their own money, I am very worried about how our society changes when you give people the right to now have enough and overly rely on #GovermentHandouts…

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