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Under the super rules, employers must make regular Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions to your super fund as part of your agreed remuneration package.
But for high income earners, it’s important to know that each year the government sets a quarterly cap on the amount of an employee’s income on which their employer must make SG contributions.
This amount is called the maximum super contribution base (MSCB) and it’s indexed to average weekly ordinary time earnings (AWOTE), so it changes every financial year.
What is the MSCB for 2020/21?
The current SG contribution rate is 9.5% of your earnings up to the maximum super contribution base for 2020/21. If you earn above the limit in a particular quarter, your employer is not required to make SG contributions for the part of your earnings over this limit.
The quarterly MSCB does not apply to other mandated contributions, such as super contributions you are paid under an industrial award or enterprise agreement.
The MSCB for 2020/21 is $57,090 per quarter, ($228,360 per year) which equals a maximum SG contribution of $5,423.55 per quarter ($57,090 x 9.5%).
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The MSCB amounts for previous years are listed in the table below:
Maximum super contributions base (MSCB) for 2020/21 and previous years
|Income year||Income per quarter||Maximum SG contribution per quarter|
(SG contribution rate x quarterly income)
The MSCB is a quarterly income figure, so it aligns with the requirement for your employer to make SG contributions into your super account on a quarterly basis.
For high income earners with an irregular income, this requirement may mean you may miss out on some SG. If your income is over the MSCB in a particular quarter due to overtime or a bonus, the amount of SG your employer is required to pay is capped, so you don’t receive an SG contribution on the full amount.
For example, if you earned $69,000 and $58,000 in two quarters in the current financial year (2020/21), the maximum SG payable by your employer in both quarters is capped at $5,423.55, despite the different income you received in each quarter.