Super salary

15.4% employer contribution

If you are a PSSap contributor, your employer contributes at a rate of at least 15.4% of your super salary into PSSap each fortnight.

Your super salary is the salary used to calculate your employer contributions. It is based on your annual salary but is not necessarily the same figure as your annual salary.

Your super salary can vary depending on whether your super contributions are calculated on a fortnightly contribution salary or an ordinary time earnings salary.

More information

Are you on a fortnightly contribution or ordinary time earnings salary?

Generally, your employer will calculate contributions based on your fortnightly contribution salary unless one of the following states your super salary will be ordinary time earnings:

  • a certified agreement that applies to you
  • an Australian workplace agreement that applies to you
  • a remuneration determination that applies to you
  • an agreement in writing that you have entered into with your employer where you are not covered by any of the other mentioned arrangements.

If you are on a fortnightly contribution salary, your super salary is reviewed on your birthday and will be set at the highest annual salary recorded since your previous birthday. If your actual salary has reduced, your super salary will be maintained. Your super salary will also be indexed with average weekly ordinary time earnings until your current salary equals or exceeds it.

If you are on an ordinary time earnings salary, your super salary will vary whenever there's a variation in your ordinary time earnings.

Ask your employer if you're on a fortnightly contribution or ordinary time earnings salary.

What is a fortnightly contribution salary?

A fortnightly contribution salary is your basic salary plus any recognised allowances you receive (see table below) as recorded on your birthday (also known as your 'birthday salary'). It is also the 'default' salary when a super salary type is not specified in an agreement.

Recognised allowances for fortnightly contributions salary

Allowance type (general)               

Applicable               Allowance example                        
Allowances for posession of particular skills Payable immediately from your next birthday review
  • first aid
  • language
  • length of service recognition
  • standard of efficiency attained.
Allowances for additional duties Payable on your next birthday review if you received the allowance for at least 12 months and one day, or your employer certifies the allowance is likely to be received by you for more than 12 months
  • higher duties
  • parliamentary employment
  • restriction
  • in lieu of overtime or extra duty
  • in comensation for physical hardship or discomfort
  • associated with particular duties
  • special duties.

 

Allowances for reimbursement and overtime are not recognised for your fortnightly contributions salary. Examples of these allowances include expenses of office allowance, district allowance, travelling allowance, clothing allowance and bonuses of performance pay.

Ask your employer which allowances apply to you.

What is an ordinary time earnings salary?

Ordinary time earnings salary is what you get paid for your ordinary hours of work including earnings consisting of over award payments, shift loadings or commission.

This salary type, however, does not include lump sum payments made in lieu of unused sick leave, unused annual leave or unused long service leave.

Common inclusions and exclusions are outlined in the table below.

To see all inclusions and exclusions for an ordinary time earnings salary visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

Maximum contributions base

The maximum level of super support your employer is required to provide for you in a quarter is set by the Commissioner of Taxation and is subject to annual indexation. It is the maximum salary on which your contributions are required to be calculated.

To see the maximum contributions base visit the ATO website.

Employers may calculate their contributions on a higher figure than that set by the Tax Commissioner. However, they are not required to do so.

Inclusions and exclusions for ordinary time earnings salary

What's included?                                         What's excluded?
 
  • director's fees

  • remuneration while on sick, annual and long service leave 

  • bonuses calculated by reference to work undertaken

  • top-up payments or accident make-up payments when employee works

  • casual loadingany allowance not regarded as reimbursements of expenses

  • government (wage) subsidies.

 
  • overtime payments
  • payments when on maternity or paternity leave
  • ex-gratia payments (excluding Christmas bonuses)
  • top-up payments or accident make-up payments when employee does not work
  • annual leave loading
  • any lump sum payments of accrued leave on termination of employment
  • reimbursement of expenses/allowances
  • advance payments to an employee to allow the employee to expend an amount of money as an agent of the employer
  • redundancy payments
  • payments in lieu of notice
  • worker's compensation payments
  • payments subject to fringe benefits tax
  • payments by way of restraint of trade.

 

 

Did you leave the APS or another participating employer?

If you no longer work for a PSSap participating employer, your current employer cannot contribute to PSSap on your behalf.  Your benefit will remain in the scheme for future payment unless you roll it out to another fund or make an eligible withdrawal of your entire balance.

See non-contributor­ to find out what you can and can't do with your account.

Are you an Ancillary member?

Your employer cannot contribute to PSSap on your behalf. That's because your employer already contributes to CSS or PSS.

More information

Must my employer contribute if I take paid leave?

During periods of paid leave, your employer must contribute 15.4% of your super salary on the same day a regular salary payment is made to you.

Must my employer contribute if I take leave without pay?

Fortnightly contribution salary

Your employer is not required to make contributions while you are on leave without pay (LWOP) with the exception of:

  • unpaid leave for 12 weeks or less
  • maternity or parental leave (whether it is paid or unpaid)
  • sick leave without pay
  • compensation leaveleave for absence for the purpose of engaging in other approved employment set out in the PSSap rules
  • leave of more than 12 weeks where the employer has agreed to pay contributions.

There is no requirement for your employer to contribute if the period of unpaid leave is greater than 12 weeks.

Ordinary time earnings salary

Your employer is not required to make contributions while you are on LWOP.

Can I negotiate which type of salary my employer uses?

You must speak to your employer about which type of salary is used for you.

 

What if I’m a casual?

If you work as a casual for a PSSap participating employer (eg you're a casual in the APS) your super salary is generally what you earned in a particular fortnight excluding payments for overtime, compensation or reimbursement of expenses such as meal or mileage allowances.

Keep in mind certain changes to your situation will immediately affect your super contributions, for instance: leave without pay, reduced pay, or a salary increase, decrease or increment.

What if I change jobs?

If you move from your current PSSap participating employer that uses 'ordinary time earnings' (OTE) to a participating employer that uses 'fortnightly contributions salary' (FCS), your new FCS should be based upon the salary from the OTE agency.

From your next birthday, the higher of the calculated salaries must be used in determining your salary for super. Alternatively, you may be able to negotiate with your employer to enter into an individual agreement so your super salary continues to be based on OTE.

If you change jobs and no longer work for a participating employer, your new employer cannot contribute to PSSap on your behalf. Your benefit will remain in the scheme for later payment unless you rollover to another fund or make an eligible withdrawal.

What is the impact on my super salary if annual salary increases?

Fortnightly contribution salary

Your super salary is reviewed on your birthday and will be set at the highest annual salary recorded since your previous birthday. Your super salary will increase if you qualify for a salary increase, but not until your next birthday.

Ordinary time earnings salary

Your super salary will change whenever there is a change in your ordinary time earnings.

What is the impact on my super salary if my annual salary decreases?

Fortnightly contribution salary

Your super salary will be maintained. In other words, it will not decrease if your actual employment salary decreases. Your super salary will also be indexed with average weekly ordinary time earnings until your actual employment salary equals or exceeds it.

Ordinary time earnings salary

Your super salary will vary whenever there's a variation in your ordinary time earnings.

Can my employer pay more than 15.4%?

Basic employer contributions for a PSSap contributor must be a minimum of 15.4% of your super salary. However, your employer may also make additional contributions, including:

  • as specified in an agreement or collective agreement
  • to provide for circumstances where you and your employer agree for additional contributions to be made such as an incentive.

Ask your employer about your super contribution rate.