The Super Guarantee Charge

The Super Guarantee Charge (SGC) is a penalty imposed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on employers who fail to meet their superannuation obligations for their employees. The super guarantee charge ensures that employees receive the superannuation contributions they are entitled to, even if their employer misses or is late with these payments. In this article, we'll delve into the specifics of the super guarantee charge, the consequences for non-compliance, and the importance of the super guarantee charge statement.

What is the Super Guarantee Charge?
The super guarantee charge is a combination of three components: the superannuation guarantee shortfall, interest on the shortfall, and an administration fee. Employers are required to contribute a minimum percentage of an employee's ordinary time earnings to a complying superannuation fund. If these contributions are not made by the due date, the employer must pay the super guarantee charge to the ATO.

Components of the Super Guarantee Charge

  1. Superannuation Guarantee Shortfall: This is the amount of superannuation that should have been paid to the employee’s super fund.
  2. Interest: This is calculated at a rate of 10% per annum on the shortfall amount, from the due date of the contribution to the date the super guarantee charge is paid.
  3. Administration Fee: This fee is currently $20 per employee, per quarter.

The Super Guarantee Charge Statement

To report and rectify missed or late super contributions, employers must lodge a super guarantee charge statement with the ATO. This statement details the superannuation guarantee shortfall, interest, and administration fee. The super guarantee charge statement ensures that the employer is held accountable for the unpaid superannuation and helps the ATO track compliance.

Why is the Super Guarantee Charge Important?

The super guarantee charge is crucial because it protects employees’ retirement savings. Without this enforcement mechanism, employers might delay or avoid making necessary super contributions, jeopardizing employees’ financial futures. The interest and administration fees act as a deterrent, encouraging timely and accurate super payments.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Employers who fail to pay the super guarantee charge face significant penalties, including:

  • Additional penalties: Up to 200% of the superannuation guarantee shortfall.
  • Legal action: The ATO can take legal action to recover unpaid super and penalties.
  • Reputational damage: Non-compliance can damage an employer’s reputation, affecting their ability to attract and retain talent.

How to Avoid the Super Guarantee Charge

To avoid the super guarantee charge, employers should:

  1. Keep accurate records: Ensure all employee records are up-to-date and accurate.
  2. Make timely payments: Super contributions must be made by the quarterly due dates.
  3. Review payroll processes: Regularly review payroll systems to ensure compliance with superannuation laws.
  4. Seek professional advice: Consult with accountants or financial advisors to stay informed about superannuation obligations.

Case Study: A Lesson in Compliance

Consider the case of XYZ Pty Ltd, a medium-sized business in Australia. Due to an oversight, XYZ Pty Ltd failed to make super contributions for several employees over two quarters. Upon realizing the mistake, the company lodged a super guarantee charge statement with the ATO. The super guarantee charge they incurred included the shortfall amounts, interest, and administration fees. This experience highlighted the importance of diligent payroll management and the consequences of non-compliance.

The Role of the ATO and Compliance

The ATO plays a vital role in enforcing superannuation laws and ensuring employers comply with their obligations. They provide resources and support to help businesses understand and meet their superannuation responsibilities. However, the onus remains on employers to stay informed and compliant to avoid the super guarantee charge.


The super guarantee charge is an essential enforcement tool that ensures employees receive their rightful superannuation contributions. By understanding the components of the super guarantee charge, the importance of the super guarantee charge statement, and the consequences of non-compliance, employers can better manage their superannuation obligations. Staying compliant not only avoids penalties but also fosters a positive work environment and secures the financial future of employees.

For more detailed information and guidance on the super guarantee charge, employers can refer to resources provided by the ATO

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