What to do if your employer doesn't pay your super

12 Jan 2024 5 min read

Super is a way you can accumulate savings over the years so when you do stop working, you are able to support yourself. So, what happens if you believe you are not receiving super contributions or the incorrect amount from your employer?

Who is eligible to receive super contributions?

If you’re a working employee and you’re over 18 years old, you’re eligible for super contributions regardless of how much you earn. If you’re under 18, you must work at least 30 hours per week to be eligible for super contributions.

In Australia, the super guarantee is a way to ensure you are receiving super contributions on a regular basis.

What is the super guarantee?

The superannuation guarantee (SG) is a contribution that your employer must pay to your super. The SG rate is legislated by the Australian Government — it applies to all Australian employees over the age of 18 (and some younger employees)1 regardless of occupation or income.

The current SG rate is 11% of your ordinary time earnings. This rate is scheduled to increase every year by increments of 0.5% until it reaches 12% in July 2025. The superannuation guarantee was introduced in 1992 at just 3%. Before that, employers had no obligation to contribute to the retirement savings of their staff, so the super guarantee plays a vital role in our superannuation system.

What happens if your employer isn’t paying you super?

As there are penalties for employers who do not adequately pay their employees super contributions, most do the right thing. However, if you feel you are not receiving super contributions, the ATO recommends taking the following steps:

  1. Check that you are entitled to super. The ATO provides this useful tool to help you work out if you are entitled to the super guarantee. At NGS, members can access their statements online anytime. You can also contact us if you have questions about your statement or SG payments.
  2. Has your super been paid into the right fund?
    - Look up your super on ATO online services to view the super contributions that have been paid into your nominated super fund.
    - Ask your employer how much they’ve paid and into which fund.
  3. Calculate your super entitlements. If you're unsure, use the Estimate my super calculator to work out your entitlement.
  4. Report unpaid super to the ATO. If you have completed all the above steps and still believe you are not being paid the correct amount of super, you can lodge a notification to the ATO.

Do employers have to pay super with your wage?

Employers are required to pay eligible employees super guarantee (SG) at least 4 times a year.2 This means that your super may not always be paid with your wage. However, as part of the 2023-24 Budget, the Albanese Government announced that from 1 July 2026, super must be paid on payday, a change that will benefit the retirement incomes of millions of Australians. This change is being referred to as payday super.

Payday super will also mean casual workers are at less risk of not receiving super contributions altogether. Unfortunately, this can happen when a casual worker moves on from the position before their quarterly super payment is due or when a business folds or goes bankrupt. It’s important to note that casual workers are entitled to super, even if they are only with the business for a short period.

How to stay on top of your super

While your employer should be on top of your super payments, ultimately, your super is your responsibility. No one will care or give it as much attention as you. No matter where you are in your work life, your super is important. Taking the time to ensure you are receiving the right payments, have the right account for you, and understand how you can boost your savings is not only smart but highly recommended.

What happens to super if you’re self-employed?

If you run your own business and are fully self-employed, you will not receive superannuation contributions unless you arrange to. While it’s not compulsory to make contributions to your superannuation fund if you’re self-employed, it’s an excellent idea. It may be hard to imagine life down the track, but the sooner you start saving your super, the better off you will be. Ignoring your super means you could get to retirement with little or no savings. Sadly, this does happen. Putting even a small amount aside now will set you up for the future.

Get financial guidance with NGS Super

If you would like to explore your options, why not connect with one of our NGS Super Specialists?

Talking with a Super Specialist is free, and they can answer your questions about superannuation, investments, insurance or planning for retirement. They can also help you decide the next steps – including if meeting with an NGS financial planner is right for you.

Our financial planners can create strategies that aim to maximise your financial position and meet your objectives for the future. Financial advice can also involve protecting your lifestyle and assets through personal insurance.

Seeking advice is a way to plan for your future, help to mitigate the risk and make the most of your saving opportunities. Education is integral to the planning process — it’s important that you feel confident and informed at all times.

1 Employees younger than 18 years old are also eligible for super guarantee contributions if they work at least 30 hours per week.

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