What to do if your boss hasn't paid your super


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Not all employers do the right thing by their employees and pay the 11% superannuation guarantee entitlement.

In fact, $4.7 billion of superannuation isn't paid to workers each year, according to Industry Super Australia.

The great super rip-off typically affects employees who work in accommodation, construction and food industries.

what to do if your boss hasn't paid your superannuation

Often it is employers with turnover of less than $10 million who employ less than 30 staff who aren't paying superannuation, according to a report put out by Treasury.

Not being paid superannuation is the same as money that is rightfully yours being stolen from you.

How do you find out if you are being paid your full 11% superannuation? It is up to you to check that all the details and amounts are correctly paid into your super fund.

Currently your employer must pay your super four times a year.

Some employers pay more frequently.

The next quarterly deadline is April 28. This is for the three months from January 1 to March 31.

If there isn't a payment on or before April 28, your alarm bells should be ringing.

What to do if your superannuation has been paid

1. Speak to your employer

Ask your employer why no superannuation has been paid.

There could be a genuine mistake such as the wrong fund details.

It is best to keep a record of the conversations and emails in case you need to pursue the underpayment further.

2. Notify the tax office

If you don't get any joy from your employer, lodge a complaint called an employee notification with the tax office.

The tax office governs superannuation law and will carry out an audit, order your employer to make retrospective payments to the tax office as well as any additional penalties such as interest.

If the tax office takes this action, and your employer still refuses to pay, any correspondence with your employer can be helpful evidence to support any future legal proceedings.

Unfortunately plenty of SG debts aren't recovered because small companies have gone bankrupt.

No super means no insurance

One of the tragedies of not being paid superannuation, is being uninsured for a period. Most Australians have life and total and permanent disability insurance through their superannuation fund.

Each fund has different insurance conditions but actively receiving contributions from an employer triggers the insurance.

If you die or are disabled, your dependents may not be able to access death or total and permanent disability insurance payments without taking legal action.

How to check if your super is being paid on time

One of the complications of checking your superannuation payments and whether the amount is correct is that it isn't linked to your real time pay periods.

It doesn't make it straightforward to track because you have to wait for quarterly dates. Nor is it clear-cut for the tax office to detect and recover unpaid super payments.

Around 9 million Australians will have to wait more than two years to benefit from superannuation being paid with each pay period. It comes into effect on July 1, 2026.

This also means that Australians will be paid more super because they receive them earlier and more frequently throughout their working life.

By switching to payday super, a 25-year-old median income earner currently receiving their super quarterly and wages fortnightly could be around $6000 or 1.5% better off at retirement, according to the Treasurer, Jim Chalmers.

More frequent super payments will also make employers' payroll management smoother with fewer liabilities building up on their books, explains Chalmers.

Over the next two years, check the quarterly deadlines for your superannuation.

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Susan has been a finance journalist for more than 30 years, beginning at the Australian Financial Review before moving to the Sydney Morning Herald. She edited a superannuation magazine, Superfunds, for the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, and writes regularly on superannuation and managed funds. She's also author of the best-selling book Women and Money.