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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 quarterly cap amount is called the maximum super contribution base (MSCB). As it’s indexed to average weekly ordinary time earnings (AWOTE), it changes every financial year.
What is the MSCB for 2021–22?
The SG contribution rate is 10% of your earnings up to the maximum super contribution base for the 2021–22 financial year. If you earn above this 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 2021–22 is $58,920 per quarter, ($235,680 per year), which equals a maximum SG contribution by your employer of $5,892 per quarter ($58,920 x 10%).
The MSCB amounts for previous years are listed in the table below:
Maximum super contributions base (MSCB) for 2021–22 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 $71,000 and $60,000 in two quarters in the current financial year (2021–22), the maximum SG payable by your employer into your super account in both quarters is capped at $5,892, despite the different income you received in each quarter.