Not sure if your super is being paid?


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I am not sure my employer is paying 9% of my pay into my super account. How do I check?

Your first step should be to contact your superannuation fund - which is where the 9% should be going - to determine how often super contributions are being received and when the last payment was made.

If the super contributions are landing in the fund when they should and are the correct amount, that may be the end of your concern.

The 9% should be based on ordinary time earnings if you are earning above $450 a month, excluding bonuses and overtime payments.

By law your employer should be forwarding your superannuation contributions for three months at least quarterly, on the 28th of January, April, July and October.

It is best for super contributions to be paid into your fund at the same time you receive your pay so that they begin to earn returns straight away, but there is no legal obligation on the employer to pay more frequently than quarterly.

If you are also sacrificing salary for a higher contribution to your super fund, you should check that your sacrificed salary is paid into your super account when it is taken out of your pay.

Some employers have been known to hang onto your sacrificed salary money for up to a year before forwarding it into your superannuation account.

I have checked with my superannuation fund and have found that my 9% contribution is not going into my super account. What should I do next?

It is time to raise your super problem with your employer. Ask which fund your superannuation is being paid into. The employer may be paying your contribution into a different fund.

You should also ask how often the payments are being made - this is also a good opportunity to check that the amount being paid in is calculated correctly.

I can't get a straight answer from my employer and I suspect my super is not being paid. What should I do?

To keep the tone as cordial as possible, say to your employer that you have a keen interest in your super and how it is building and that you are trying to keep an eye on almost 10% of your pay and you don't want to lose track of it.

If the employer is experiencing cash flow problems and can't pay your superannuation, you are better finding this out sooner rather than later.

Inform your employer that you intend to contact the tax office about unpaid super.

That might get the ball rolling if the employer wants to avoid a tax officer calling and incurring penalties and interest for unpaid super obligations. The tax office can be contacted on 131 020.

What information will I need to give to the tax office?

Your contact details, your employer's contact details including the business address, your employer's ABN (from your last pay summary or employer's business letterhead), the nature of your current employment arrangement, including when you commenced employment, 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 tax office will keep you informed of what progress it is making in its inquiries.

I also sacrifice salary to boost my super balance. Does the employer have to transfer this money into my super account each pay day?

Unfortunately not. It will depend on the agreement you struck with your employer about sacrificing part of your pay into super. If you agreed to have it transferred every pay day, that is what should happen.

If you have not struck a deal, the employer can even transfer the amount at a time of their choosing during the year. It may not arrive in your fund until 12 months later.

This means your sacrificed salary would be supporting the employer's cash flow rather than earning a return in your fund. And it isn't illegal, unless it breaches your employment contract.

Can the employer calculate the 9% compulsory contribution on the net salary after sacrifice?

Yes, the 9% can be calculated on the lower after-sacrifice salary, unless you negotiate otherwise.

It is therefore a good strategy to make sure the employer commits to paying 9% of your gross pay compulsory contribution before salary sacrificing.

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