From 1 July 2017, the high income threshold and maximum superannuation contributions base will increase.

On 1 July 2017, the high income threshold will increase from $138,900 to $142,000.

The high income threshold is important for the following reasons:

  1. Employees who are not covered by a modern award or subject to an enterprise agreement and who receive annual earnings above the high income threshold are unable to make a claim for unfair dismissal.
  2. Employees who are covered by a modern award and who have annual earnings above the high threshold amount can make an unfair dismissal claim.
  3. The maximum amount of compensation payable for a successful unfair dismissal claim is capped at the lower of:

(i)

half the amount of the dismissed employee's wage; or

(ii)

half the amount of the high income threshold, which is $71,000 after 1 July 2017.

In determining whether an employee earns more than the high income threshold, what is included is an employee's wage and other amounts applied or dealt with as salary sacrifice amounts and the value of non-monetary benefits received by the employee. What is not included are payments which are not set in advance such as commissions, bonuses and overtime and compulsory superannuation contributions.

Superannuation Contributions Base 

From 1 July 2017, the maximum superannuation contribution base increases to $52,760 per quarter. An employer is required to contribute 9.5% of an employee's ordinary time earnings to a superannuation fund nominated by the employee but only up to the maximum superannuation contribution base, per quarter.