Know your rights when it comes to unpaid super
My pay slip does not record how much super contribution my employer pays, or to which fund it is paid. How do I determine if the correct amount of super is being paid to my fund of choice?
Your employer super contribution represents at least 9% of your pay and your pay slip should reflect that it has been paid and into which fund.
Your pay slip shows how much you are paid during the pay cycle and into which bank or credit union account, as well as tax paid. If you earn more than $450 a month, your employer is legally required to pay 9% of your pay into a super fund chosen by you, or a default fund.
If your pay slip lacks information, tell your employer you would like to keep track and ask how much the regular super contribution is and the fund where it is paid.
Your next step should be to contact the fund receiving the contributions to confirm that the amounts paid are correct and being transferred on time. There is an employee super guarantee calculator tool online at ato.gov.au
I've forgone 10% of my pay and put it into super and now find that the employer contribution is calculated on my pay less the 10% contribution. What can I do?
Unfortunately, some employers use the opportunity of your salary sacrifice to pay the compulsory super contribution on the lowered cash salary. Although it is legal, it means you are penalised in the form of a lower employer super contribution than you would otherwise receive.
You have effectively reduced the employer's super payment made on your behalf out of your pay. Before salary sacrificing it is good strategy to make sure the employer commits to the 9% of your gross pay contribution level, and then negotiate a salary sacrifice arrangement.
Must contributions be paid to the fund on pay day?
Unfortunately not. Some industrial awards require that employer super contributions be transferred to the super fund monthly. At the very least employers must forward contributions quarterly. Ask your employer how often the contribution is made.
Any voluntary super contributions made by you must be forwarded to the fund within 28 days of the end of the month in which they are deductible.
I have checked with my super fund and found that the contribution the employer should have paid has not gone into my account. What are my rights and what should I do next?
Tell your employer of your finding and ask for an explanation.
Remind him/her of their obligation to pay the SGC and ask for the unpaid super amounts to be paid into your fund account. It may have gone into the wrong fund, it may have got lost, or your employer may be experiencing cash flow problems and using your super as working capital.
If you are told the payments have been made and still do not arrive in the fund, contact the tax office on 13 10 20 and inform them of the employer's failure to pay SGC on your behalf.
What information will the tax office need?
Your contact details, your employer's contact details including the business address, your employer's ABN (from your last payment summary or employer's business letterhead), the nature of your current employment arrangement including when you commenced employment with your employer and details of the particular super problem, such as when it started.
You will also need to supply details of your salary and whether you were offered fund choice.
The consequences for the employer of not paying SGC if you are paid more than $450 a month or not offering you a choice of fund are serious fines.
The tax office will keep you informed of the progress of their chase in six stages by letter - when the investigation started, how it is progressing, when an employer debt has been established, the debt collection process and closure of your query.
The earlier you get onto an unpaid super issue the better. One year's super contribution not made and not recovered represents almost 10% of your hard-earned pay.
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