Superannuation in Australia

29 July 2015
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Overview of Superannuation

Superannuation (or "super" for short) is the process of accumulating a fund for retirement. Although the Australian government does provide an Age Pension, most people expect a higher income in retirement. The Government has introduced tax incentives and employment laws to encourage contributions to super.

Superannuation is a complex issue and we can only cover the basics on this site. However, we have listed some key points that migrants may want to consider and provided links to other sites you can visit for more detail.


Important - Please Read
In Australia, anyone providing financial product advice must be licensed through ASIC ( is not a financial advisor and we do not give financial product advice - we do provide general factual information only, obtained from official government sources, such as the ATO ( and statistics from what we believe to be reputable sources. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.

Our advertisers/sponsors may be Australian or overseas companies that provide services to migrants either before they depart their home country or when they are resident in Australia - the licensing they require will depend on where they are located and where their clients are resident. If you would like to find out about their services, please use the links to contact them directly in order to discuss your own requirements with them.

The Age Pension

How much is it?

The full state Age Pension is $776.70 per fortnight for a single person or $585.50 each for a couple. But there is an asset test and an income test which may reduce the actual pension payment.

More Information

For more information on the Age Pension, visit the Centrelink website.

Superannuation Basics

The Superannuation Guarantee

By law, employers must pay into a superannuation fund for their employees (there are some exceptions, eg. if salary is very low).

The minimum guarantee rate is 9.5%, but some employers may guarantee a higher rate - possibly up to 15%.

When considering a job offer, check if the Super Guarantee is on top of the figure you're being offered, or included in it - it makes a big difference!

Self-employed people can also pay into a Super fund and gain the tax benefits.

Funds can be run by the employer (private company or state industry), run by a private fund manager or self-managed by the individual.

Tax Incentives

Contributions to complying superannuation funds are taxed at 15%, which represents a considerable saving for someone on higher tax rates (37% or 45%). Earnings within the fund are also taxed at 15%.

Additional Contributions

There are various ways to top up your Super fund, such as Salary Sacrifice (before tax), additional contributions (after tax), co-contributions. What you can do, how much you can contribute and how tax-effective it is will depend on your employment status and salary.

Access to Benefits

The "Preserved Benefits" of your fund can only be accessed when you reach the "preservation age" - between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born.

Choice of Fund

Legislation introduced in July 2005 enables most employees to choose which fund their Super Guarantee is paid into - see ATO for more.

More Information

For more information on the above points, visit the Superannuation Entry Point on the ATO website, see our links page or contact a financial advisor.

Superannuation Links

Superannuation Entry Point on the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) website. - a consumer guide published by ASIC - Australian Securities and Investments Commission (the consumer protection regulator for Australian financial services).

National Information Centre on Retirement Investments.

List of QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes) published by HM Revenue & Customs in UK.


Information on this website is intended to give the reader an overview of many aspects of life in Australia, such as healthcare, real estate, tax, superannuation etc.

While we at have performed a large amount of research on each subject area, we do not claim to be experts in those fields and we recommend that migrants discuss their requirements with companies specialising in those fields before making purchases, investments or other decisions concerning their move.

The content of this website is general in nature - no specific advice is intended.

We provide links to other companies as a service to our readers. We have taken reasonable care to ensure that each linked website does not contain offensive or inappropriate material. However, we are not responsible for the accuracy of any of the material in any linked website, or the advice that may be contained therein.