GN 01743.015 Coverage and Contributions Under the Australian System
A. Policy — Social Security program
The Social Security program covers residents of Australia. It is financed entirely from general tax revenues rather than specific payroll taxes. Thus, a person could qualify for a Social Security benefit without ever having worked.
B. Policy — Superannuation guarantee (SG) program
The SG program applies only to employees (i.e., self-employed persons are not covered). Virtually all employees in Australia are covered. Employers must contribute an amount equal to a minimum percentage (currently 9%) of an employee's wages to retirement funds chosen by the individual employees and run by banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions. The funds are subject to Australian laws and government regulation. There are no mandatory employee contributions but employees can contribute additional amounts on a voluntary basis.