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Superannuation for Small Business Owners: A Beginner’s Guide

Superannuation is an essential part of financial planning for small business owners in Australia. It is an effective way to ensure your employees are provided with retirement benefits while also providing you with tax benefits. But, for many small business owners, the world of superannuation can be confusing and overwhelming. In this beginner’s guide, we explain the basics of superannuation for small business owners in Australia, including the different types of superannuation funds, employer contributions, investment options, insurance, beneficiaries, tax implications, and pension options.

What is Superannuation?

Superannuation is a system designed to provide income for individuals in retirement. Under Australian law, employers are required to contribute a percentage of their employees’ salaries to a superannuation fund. This is called the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) and the current minimum employer contribution rate is 10.5% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings.

The contributions made to the superannuation fund accumulate over time and earn interest, providing employees with a pool of funds for their retirement. It is important to note that superannuation is not just a legal obligation for employers, but it is also an important part of financial planning for small business owners.

Types of Superannuation Funds

There are several types of superannuation funds available in Australia, including retail funds, industry funds, and self-managed super funds (SMSF). Financial institutions manage retail funds, while unions and employer associations manage industry funds. SMSFs, on the other hand, provide greater control over investment decisions and can offer tax benefits, but require a significant amount of time and effort to manage.

When choosing a superannuation fund, small business owners should consider several factors, including fees, investment options, performance, and insurance options. Additionally, it is important to consider whether the fund meets the criteria for a complying fund under Australian law.

Employer Contributions

Employers are required to contribute to their employees’ superannuation funds in Australia. The Superannuation Guarantee (SG) requires employers to contribute a minimum of 10.5% of their employees’ ordinary time earnings to a complying superannuation fund. 

Note – This amount will increase to 11% as of 1 July 2023. For more information relating to the SG, please follow the link to the ATO’s Super Guarantee Percentage Table

It is important to note that contributions must be paid on time and that failure to pay contributions can result in penalties and interest charges. 

Note – Keeping accurate records of contributions is also important as employers must provide these records to their employees upon request.

Investment Options

Superannuation funds offer various investment options, such as shares, property, and fixed-interest investments. Small business owners should consider their investment options carefully and seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.


Superannuation funds also offer insurance options, such as life insurance and income protection. It is important to review the insurance options provided by the superannuation fund and determine whether they meet the needs of both the employee and the employer.


Superannuation funds require individuals to nominate a beneficiary or beneficiaries who will receive their superannuation benefits upon their death. It is important to ensure that these nominations are up-to-date and reflect the individual’s wishes.

Tax Implications

Contributions made to a superannuation fund can provide tax benefits for both employers and employees. Employers can claim tax deductions for contributions made to their employees’ superannuation funds, while employees can receive tax concessions for personal contributions to their superannuation fund. It is important to seek professional advice to ensure that all tax implications are understood.

Pension Options

Superannuation funds also offer pension options, which provide a regular income stream for retirees. There are several pension options available, including account-based pensions and transition to retirement pensions. Small business owners should consider their pension options

Do You Need A Superannuation Plan? 

Superannuation law is a delicate area and personalised planning is required for each individual. The team at SG Advisory are superannuation experts who can assist in establishing a superannuation fund that will effectively enable you to reach your financial retirement goals. 

So if you need assistance in establishing or updating your superannuation, make an appointment to see one of SG Advisory’s superannuation experts today. 

Disclaimer: The information contained above is general in nature and should not be considered as personalised superannuation advice. Please consult one of our experienced staff as superannuation laws, regulations and the way they affect your business can differ from year to year.