The maximum superannuation contribution base for the 2017/2018 year is $52,760 per quarter. This represents the maximum amount than an employer is required to pay quarterly superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions on.

Employers are not required to pay the superannuation guarantee levy on quarterly incomes that exceed the maximum superannuation contribution base.

The reason that the maximum superannuation contribution base is represented as a quarterly figure is because an employer is obligated to make superannuation guarantee contributions into an employees superannuation account on a quarterly basis.

This may be detrimental to employees with irregular incomes. Read on.

Despite the existence of the 2017/2018 maximum superannuation contribution base, an employer is not limited by this contribution base. Employer’s are able to make superannuation contributions to their employees in excess of this quarterly base; however this may give rise to reportable employer contributions.

The maximum superannuation base in indexed by Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings (AWOTE) and updated in February of each year.

The table below details the history of the maximum superannuation contribution base.

Maximum Superannuation Contribution Base 2017/2018

Income Year Quarterly Income
2017/18 $52 760
2016/17 $51 620
2015/16 $50 810
2014/15 $49 430
2013/14 $48 040
2012/13 $45 750
2011/12 $43 820
2010/11 $42 220
2009/10 $40 170
2008/09 $38 180
2007/08 $36 470
2006/07 $35 240
2005/06 $33 720
2004/05 $32 180
2003/04 $30 560
2002/03 $29 220
2001/02 $27 510
2000/01 $26 300
1999/00 $25 240
1998/99 $24 480
1997/98 $23 630
1996/97 $22 590
1995/96 $21 720
1994/95 $20 780
1993/94 $20 160
1992/93 $20 000

All employer SG contributions will count towards the recipients Concessional Contribution Cap.

READ: ‘Difference Between Concessional and Non Concessional Super Contributions

Maximum Superannuation Contribution Base Quarters

The four quarters track the standard Australian tax quarters.

The quarters that the maximum superannuation contribution base refers to are as follows:

Quarter Period
1 1 July – 30 September
2 1 October – 31 December
3 1 January – 31 March
4 1 April – 30 June

Maximum Superannuation Contribution Base Example

The table below illustrates how two people earning an equivalent annual salary could in fact receive differing levels of employer SG contributions.

Calculations are based on the 2017/2018 superannuation guarantee levy rate of 9.5%

Scenario 1 – Consistent quarterly income

Quarter Quarterly Income SGC Levy Rate Percentage SGC Payable
1 July – 30 Sept $50 000 9.5% $4 750
1 Oct – 31 Dec $50 000 9.5% $4 750
1 Jan – 31 Mar $50 000 9.5% $4 750
1 Apr – 30 June $50 000 9.5% $4 750
Total $200 000 $19 000

Scenario 2 – Irregular quarterly income

Quarter Quarterly Income SGC Levy Rate Percentage SGC Payable
1 July – 30 Sept $65 000 9.5% $5 012 (capped)
1 Oct – 31 Dec $40 000 9.5% $3 800
1 Jan – 31 Mar $55 000 9.5% $5 012 (capped)
1 Apr – 30 June $40 000 9.5% $3 800
Total $200 000 $17 624

As the tables above show, two individuals both earning $200,000 throughout the 2017/2018 financial year will receive different SGC payments. The individual with irregular earnings receives $1,376 less in employer SG payments than the person with regular earnings due to the quarterly Maximum Superannuation Contribution Base.

Maximum-Superannuation-Contribution-Base-2018

All employer contributions will be subject to superannuation contributions tax. A greater rate of contributions tax applies to high income earners. Click here for more.

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Chris Strano

Chris Strano is a specialist independent superannuation author for SuperGuy.com.au - one of Australia's leading superannuation information resources.

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