Superannuation - They're watching you
Employees are increasingly on top of their Superannuation rights. Indeed many are now regularly monitoring their Superannuation account balances.
Thankfully the days where businesses were able to avoid paying their Super for large periods of time is more and more coming to an end. It used to be that an employee might have only found out about problems with payments to their Super fund quite a long time down the track. Not any more. With the increasing take up of Super funds with bank accounts that employees can frequently log in to and monitor, employers are now very much being kept on their toes by their diligent employees.
I’m fielding a growing number of enquiries each month from employees about their Super payments. A typical call or email might be on the 20th of April saying they can’t see their March Super amount yet. Whilst it’s a minor inconvenience for me to be spending extra time explaining about Super payment deadlines, I welcome this new employee activism. As I see it, this is the way of the future so education is key.
So what exactly should you – the Employer – be doing when it comes to Superannuation?
GET YOUR SUPER HOUSE IN ORDER
It shouldn’t surprise any payer of Super to hear that cheque payments for Super are being phased out. Super funds like to make this very clear! If you’re an employer of 20 or more employees you are required to contribute your Super electronically in accordance with the SuperStream requirements. The deadline for compliance has been extended to June 30 2015, however now is the time to act. If you have not already done so, speak with any of the following to ensure you’re in a position to meet your obligations;
- Payroll bureau
- Payroll software provider
- Superannuation clearing house
- Default Super fund
Employers of 19 or less employees have an extra year to comply, however now is certainly the time to get your Superannuation practices in order. The clearer and simpler your Superannuation process is the better!
This starts with something as basic as providing a correct Super Choice form, includes using the correct SG percentage, and continues all the way through to making sure Self Managed Super Funds are compliant. One thing I’ve noticed as I take over the payment of Super from more and more of our clients is the surprising number of Self Managed Super Funds that aren’t compliant. It’s absolutely imperative that you’re regularly checking the compliance status of any Self Managed Super Funds. A good starting point for this is the government’s Super Fund Lookup. Our payroll services team will ensue everything is compliant.
PAY ON TIME
As discussed above, employees are monitoring these contributions almost as closely as their wage payments. Paying the Super late can then lead to staff discontent and reputational damage, on top of any charge imposed by the ATO.
NO HIDDEN SURPRISES
Super should be treated as part of your wages bill, not as a hidden danger that pops up unexpectedly. Allow for it as you go so that there are no nasty surprises when it comes time for payment.