Steps to have your superannuation paid
If you’re employed by someone else, then in most cases your employer must contribute to your superannuation. Generally, 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 entitled to have super contributions paid into your super account.
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.
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.
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.
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, or
- 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.
Legislation recently passed by the government amends the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 and closes a legal loophole that allowed employers to short-change employees who make extra salary sacrifice super contributions by calculating compulsory super on the lower wages after salary sacrifice contributions were deducted. From 1 July 2020, employee salary sacrifice arrangements will not reduce nor satisfy employers’ required super guarantee contributions (currently 9.5%)
It’s welcome news, however it needs to go further. It doesn’t assist those workers missing out on compulsory super contributions by maintaining the $450 a month threshold. This fails to protect young people and women in casual, temporary and contract employment – the groups research by Industry Super Australia has found to be most at risk of not being paid their super.
You can find out more about our campaign to stop unpaid super here.