If you’re employed by someone else, then in most cases your employer must contribute to your superannuation. On the whole, employers know their obligations and do the right thing, especially since there are penalties for not paying super.
If you think that your employer is not paying superannuation, or is not paying the right amount of super, then there are ways to check.
How to claim unpaid super
Firstly, you need to make sure you are eligible to receive super. Generally, you’re entitled to super guarantee contributions if you are:
- 18 years old or over and
- paid $450 or more (before tax) in a month
It doesn’t matter if you’re full time, part time or casual – or if you’re a temporary resident of Australia – you’re still covered by superannuation entitlements.
You may also be eligible if you’re a contractor. Under superannuation law, if you’re a contractor who is paid wholly or mostly for your labour, you’re considered to be an employee and therefore entitled to super guarantee contributions just like any other employee.
Talk to your employer. Most of them do the right thing, however sometimes employers miss payments or stop paying. You should ask your employer:
- how often they are currently paying your super?
- how much is being paid?
- to which fund is it being paid?
Also ask them if you are eligible to choose your own super fund.
Check your last Member Statement from your super fund or contact them to confirm whether your employer has paid your super contributions for the period you are looking into.
If you have completed Steps 1, 2 and 3 above and still believe your employer is either:
- not paying any super
- not paying enough super
- not paying into your chosen super fund
…then you should report unpaid super by lodging an enquiry with the ATO, who will then take up the investigation into your unpaid superannuation.
On July 14th 2017 the Government announced they will seek to close a legal loophole that allows employers to short-change employees who make extra salary sacrifice super contributions by calculating compulsory super on the lower wages after salary sacrifice contributions are deducted.
The bill is an amendment to the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 and it was introduced to parliament on 14th September 2017. It’s welcome news, however it needs to go further.
In its current form, the bill does not reflect the changing nature of work or technological improvements that have come into place since compulsory super was introduced. It also shuts out workers missing out on compulsory super by maintaining the $450 threshold and fails to protect young people and women in casual, temporary and contract employment.