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1. What do I include in the 'Comments' field?

The comments field is a non-compulsory field and should be used to make comments to explain instances where an employee has a value which is out of the ordinary.  

For example, if an employee has a base salary which is higher than the EA salary value for their classification, use the ‘comments’ field to state their base salary is correct at this higher value. Providing comments in this field will help reduce the number of queries asked regarding your file.

If a record is queried and there is no error, use the comments field to confirm the value in question is correct. When the data submission is checked again this record will not be queried again if the outlying value has been verified.

2. What is the difference between 'Total' and 'Annualised' fields?

Fields have been categorised as Annualised or Total based on the nature of when the payment is paid. Annualised fields are for payments that the employee receives on an ongoing basis, whereas Total fields are for payments based on instances that trigger a payment. For example, a First Aid Allowance is annualised because the employee receives the allowance whether they treat any casualties or not. Overtime Payments are totalled because if the employee does not do overtime, they do not receive this payment.

3. How do I calculate 'Total' and 'Annualised' fields?


Total fields are for ad hoc, one-off, and/or irregular payments. To calculate these payments, sum the payments paid to the employee from the first pay of the calendar year to the pay that covers the Date of Effect. The employee does not have to qualify for that payment on the Date of Effect, but it is to be included if it was received in the calendar year. If an employee has not been with your agency or on your current payroll system for the full calendar year, please total any payments the employee has received since joining your agency (or payrolls system). You are not expected to sum payments from the employee's prior payroll system.


Annualised fields are for regular, ongoing payments. If a payment type for a field is 'Annualised', annualise the payment the employee received at the Date of Effect. For these fields, only provide data for employees that qualify for that payment as at the Date of Effect. If an employee has only worked for part of the year, multiply out the period to equate to one year (see calculation b below).

  1. Annualised Salary = ((313/12)/ Fortnights Worked) x Salary Paid

To ensure APS-wide consistency and comparability, all annualised fields are Full-Time Equivalent (FTE). Employees who work part-time, or have only worked part of the year, or are on compensation leave, or are on graduated return to work will need to have their payments annualised to an FTE payment.

  1. FTE Salary = (Full Time Hours / Hours Worked) x Salary Paid

4. How do you annualise an employee's base salary if they have been promoted during the year?

The annualised base salary is the salary for the employee's base classification at the Date of Effect. For example, if an employee was an APS 3 for the first 5 months of the year and was then promoted to an APS 4, the annualised base salary for this employee is the base salary of the APS 4 level.

The only exception to this rule is for any employee who was a Graduate at any point in the calendar year. Any employee that was a Graduate during the year should be reported as a Graduate regardless of their classification on the Date of Effect. If they advanced from the Graduate classification before 31 December, please report their remuneration data as at their last day as a Graduate.

5. Which employees should be reported as having an acting classification?

Agencies should only report employees who were acting in Data Item 5 and 35 if they were acting for a consecutive period of 90 days or more as at 31 December (i.e. acting since October 3).

Agencies should not report employees as acting if the period:

  • is less than 90 days, or
  • the period of 90 days did not include 31 December.

6. For employees acting at a different classification to their substantive/base classification, what should be reported as their base salary?

Base salary should always be reported at the base classification level for that employee. The salary relating to their Acting Classification (Data Item 5) should be in Acting Classification Salary (Date Item 35).

7. Do I include data for employees on leave without pay at 31 December?

No. Exclude employees who are on any type of leave without pay at the 31 December. This includes employees on a leave without pay component of their maternity leave.

8. Do I include payments relating to reimbursements?

Any reimbursements or expenses that meet business needs are to be excluded. Only reimbursements of non-business expense should be included as they are a benefit to the employee. These payments should be reported in 'Personal benefits' (Data Items 46) and 'Personal benefits description' (Data Item 47). Do not report employee sacrifice amounts, e.g. salary sacrifice super contributions or cashed out annual leave.

9. Do I include backdated payments from previous years?

No. Correction or adjustment payments relating to incorrect payments from previous years should not be included.

10. How do I report data for an employee who had a motor vehicle for part of the year and cash in lieu of a motor vehicle for the remainder of the year?

For these employees, please show the annualised combination of the two fields in whichever field was of greater value. For example, if an employee's annualised motor vehicle allowance was $30,000, but they took cash-in-lieu for the first eight months and a car for the last four months, please show $30,000 in 'Cash in Lieu of Motor Vehicle' (Data Item 53).

11. Is there a minimum amount to be reported for payment fields?

No, there is no minimum value, please report all payments in the appropriate fields.

12. How do I record payments relating to paying out an employee's annual leave?

There is no need to record this payment as it would already be captured in base salary (Data Item 16).

13. Where do I record FBT where it is payable on a benefit?

FBT on allowances should be recorded in the field where the allowance is recorded.


14. What does 'salary for superannuation purposes' mean?

Superannuation salary is calculated using the fortnight contribution method or ordinary time earnings. The method used is subject to the relevant fund requirements and employment instrument. For members of the CSS, PSS or PSSap more information can be found on the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation website (https://www.csc.gov.au/ ).

15. Are Additional Death and Invalidity Cover (ADIC) employer contributions to be included? If so, what field should it go in?

Yes, this should be included and shown in Agency Superannuation Contribution (Data Item 51).

16. Is Superannuation Salary to be as at 31 December, or the employee's birthday review?

It is the super salary that contributions are based on at 31 December. This may be the salary of the employee's birthday review, depending on the scheme and contribution method.

17. How do I calculate Superannuation Salary for those employees on OTE?

The best way to determine a superannuation salary for these cases would be look at the employee's salary and superable allowance rates on 31 December, determine which are included in OTE and add the annual rates together to form your FTE.

18. For employees that make salary sacrifice superannuation contributions, should these be included in 'Agency Superannuation Contributions'?

No. Any super salary sacrifice amounts will already form part of the employee's base salary.

19. Calculating Agency Superannuation Contributions – do I use the same method as previous surveys or am I required report on the actual employer amounts paid for the calendar year?

In previous surveys, the Agency Superannuation Contribution (ASC) was calculated simply by multiplying the employee's salary for super by the percentage rate of employer contribution which was required for that particular fund (taking into account EPSC payments). For example, if an employee was in the CSS and has an annual salary of $80,000, the ASC was calculated by multiplying $80,000 by 19.7% (which is the employer percentage required for that agency for staff in the CSS). The EPSC would then be added to this amount to give the total ASC for the year.

For the sake of consistency, Agency Superannuation Contribution (Data Item 51) can be reported in the same manner as it was in previous surveys.

20. We have older employees who are no longer eligible for employer super contributions. They are being paid a payment instead of receiving an employer super contribution. How do we include this?

This would depend on how you are paying the employee this payment. If the payment is paid as an allowance it should go into Data Item 34, Superannuation Allowance. If it is not paid as an allowance it would go into Data Item 48, Other Supplementary Payments.

Last reviewed: 
3 December 2019