Since 1 July 2013, eligible employees who are 70 years or older have had Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions paid to super funds, by employers. The previous SG rules stopped SG entitlements when an employee turned 70 years of age.
What this means is that eligible employees aged 70 years and older have received the equivalent of 9.5% of their ordinary time earnings in the form of super contributions, and this percentage will eventually rise to 12%. (Although note that for the 2013/2014 financial year the SG rate was 9.25%, and increased to 9.5% from 1 July 2014, and remains at 9.5% until 30 June 2020.)
SuperGuide is proud to take credit for the positive influence that our regular reporting has had in highlighting the unfair treatment of older workers. We believe our ongoing publication of this issue contributed to a win for Australians choosing to work into their seventies and even into their eighties.
Note: Based on emails from some older readers, the one glitch however with expanding the SG entitlements to over-70s, is that some Australians aged 70 years and over don’t want super, and don’t want the hassle of an accumulation super account. Unfortunately, the super rules don’t allow for over-70s to take cash instead of a Superannuation Guarantee contribution. The upside however, is that since they are aged 65 years or over, they can access their super savings at any time, subject to any administration fees a super fund may charge for withdrawing benefits.
Background: Clearly, we were not the only ones who believed that denying individuals Superannuation Guarantee payments when choosing to work beyond age 69 was discriminatory. The original plan by the former ALP government (announced as part of the Government’s response to the Henry Tax Review) was to increase the age for SG entitlement to 74, from the current age of 69. Due to intense lobbying by MPs, former minister Shorten then totally removed the upper age limit for SG entitlements. According to the then Minister for Superannuation, Bill Shorten, his decision to remove the age limit for Superannuation Guarantee was due to peer group pressure. He says: “As a result of strong representations from members of the Labor caucus and cross-bench, including Yvette D’Ath, Shayne Neumann, Deb O’Neill, Michelle Rowland, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, I have decided there will be no age limit for superannuation guarantee contributions (Media Release No 146, 2 November 2011)”.
For more information on Superannuation Guarantee contributions, see the following SuperGuide articles: