Your super is important and many of us will need to rely on it once we hit retirement. For this reason you need to be regularly checking that you’re super is being paid by your employer.
Often companies that are struggling to survive will firstly stop paying superannuation for their employees. Businesses are only required to pay superannuation quarterly and companies that aren’t managing their cash well might dip into the super money and in turn not be able to pay.
Are you eligible to receive superannuation?
First you need to make sure that you are eligible for super and covered by the Super Guarantee legislation. The legislation covers you whether or not you are working full time, part time or on a casual basis.
You may be excluded if you earn less than $450 per month, are under 18 and work 30 hours or less a week, you are over 70 and if you are paid to do work of a domestic or private nature for less than 30 hours per week.
When does your employer pay super?
If you are eligible by law your employer must make a super contribution of 9% of your earning base to your nominated superannuation account. They must make payments at least 4 times per year, within 28 days after the end of each quarter. Your employer may follow this pattern or they may make contributions more frequently.
What if your employer is not paying your super?
Step 1: Talk to your employer about them not paying
Find out from your employer how often they pay your super and where they are paying it. You may find that they have different super details especially if there was discrepancies over them creating a super or you nominating one. Also make sure you are eligible to receive super contributions.
Step 2: Talk to your super fund to check when payments were last made (if any)
Contact your super fund to see whether or not a contribution has been made for the period you are investigating. Try and get the relevant member statements-it may be easier to view these online.
Step 3: Contact the ATO
If you are still unsure whether it has been paid correctly you can then lodge an enquiry with the ATO either by phone or lodging online. There is a list on the ATO’s website of the documents and evidence you will need to provide on lodging an enquiry. Keep in mind that investigation of the matter can be a timely process so do not expect resolution to be done immediately.
What other avenues are available to get your non paid super back?
Depending on your employment there may be other avenues you can use to obtain unpaid super from your employer. If you are employed under the federal workplace relations system you can seek an order from an eligible court under the Fair Work Act 2009. The Fair Work Ombudsman also has procedures if workplace conditions and entitlements have not been met. Every state also has its own court system if you are employed under the state industrial relations systems.
If you think that your superannuation has not been paid or is incorrect make sure you take steps immediately to investigate. Every day your super is not in your account, the money is not working to the best advantage it could be for you. If you need further information see www.ato.gov.au for in depth details.