What to Do if Your Employer Doesn’t Pay Your Super

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HomeBlogWhat to Do if Your Employer Doesn’t Pay Your Super
Whether it’s your first interview or fifth job, it’s always daunting to bring up pay with your employer. However, did you know that your employer is required by law to pay you super if you’re eligible for it?
So, if you think your employer isn’t fulfilling their obligations, what steps can you take to verify this is true?
The first step is to check that your super is being paid (or not) correctly. To do this you need to know how to calculate how much you should be getting and when it’s due to be paid.

So there’s this thing called the Superannuation Guarantee…

The Super Guarantee sets out the minimum amount that your employer is legally required to pay you. Since it’s just the minimum, employers can pay more if they want to. This can be in the form of something like a salary sacrifice arrangement (where you arrange to have part of your pay put into your super) or bonus super that your employer chooses to pay.
As a general rule, if you’re an employee - including part-time and casual - and you’re paid $450 or more before tax per calendar month, you’re eligible for the Super Guarantee. This means that your employer has to pay you super. If you’re under 18, to be eligible you need to also work at least 30 hours a week in addition to earning more than $450 per month. The good news is, every working Australian should receive 9.5% of their pay as super, and this number is expected to rise to 12% in mid 2027!

How to figure out if you’re being paid correctly

Unpaid super adds up to nearly $3 billion each year, with millions of Aussie workers being short-changed. Employers could be failing to make super payments because the business isn’t doing so well, or they simply don’t know that they have to pay your super.
Remember, super is your money, so take charge and check your super balance regularly to make sure you’re not missing out.
There’s a few different ways you can check that you’re being correctly paid super:
  • Payslips - Your payslips should detail how much super has been put aside to be paid for the pay cycle. Just because it’s on your payslip does not mean that it’s been paid to your super fund.
  • myGov - Sign up for a myGov account and link your account to ATO Online services so you can look at your super online.
  • Statements - You can check your super by reviewing your super fund’s latest statement. You should get at least one statement a year.
  • Your Student Super account - Student Super members see their account balance at the very top of their homepage.
It’s important to note that although super is calculated with each payslip, your employer is only required to transfer super into your account every quarter.

How much money should you get?

Right now, employers need to pay 9.5% of your ordinary time earnings, in addition to your pay, as super.
That’s right, your superannuation is money on top of your normal pay!
Your ordinary time earnings refers to what you earn for your ordinary hours of work. It's used to calculate how much superannuation your employer needs to pay you. It is more than just your normal hours, it also includes bonuses, commissions, some paid leave and more. As an example, if your ordinary time earnings for a month is $500, you should be paid $47.50 in super.
It's important to note that overtime hours are not included in ordinary time earnings and are therefore excluded from employer super calculations.

So when does the money actually come to you?

The ATO has fixed dates by which your super has to be paid. Because your super is worked out as a fixed percentage of your pay (9.5%) your boss should tell you on your payslip how much you’re earning in superannuation per pay period.
However, they don’t actually have to transfer the money into your superannuation account every time you receive your normal pay. Your employer can accumulate the super they owe you and then pay in lump sums every quarter.
The ATO’s due dates for super are the - 28th January, 28th April, 28th July and 28th of October. By each of these dates, your employer must pay your super for the quarter. But, the good news is that your boss can actually make payments more frequently if they want to, as long as they pay the entire amount for the quarter, by those dates. It’s a good idea to check your account after each of these dates to make sure that your boss has actually paid you.

What happens when an employer doesn’t pay?

If your employer doesn’t make the appropriate Super Guarantee payments on your behalf, they might be required to pay the superannuation guarantee charge to the ATO.
This includes paying you what you’re owed, as well as interest of 10% per year. Plus, they might have to pay an administration fee of $20 per employee, per quarter which can really add up!

So what can you do if your employer doesn’t pay your super?

If you’ve checked your superannuation and you’ve found that you’re owed outstanding super payments, you can start by having a chat to your employer about how they’re paying super, when they’re paying it or even if they’re aware that they are legally required to pay super.
This can be really daunting to bring up, but superannuation is your money that they legally have to pay you, so you have every right to talk to them about it. Sometimes, employers might not know that you’re eligible for super. They might also not be up to date with the latest law changes. This means that they could be paying an old percentage (previously, superannuation was 9% of your ordinary time earnings).
You should also double check with your super fund and verify that payment hasn’t been made. Student Super members can login and visit the transactions page on the website to check their super payments. If you have any questions you can give us a call, send us an email or chat to us online, we’ll be happy to help you out.
If talking to your employer doesn’t solve the problem, you can report them to the ATO by lodging an online query. Let the ATO know about your unpaid super, late super payments, or incorrect payments to the wrong fund, and the ATO will investigate on your behalf.
Once you start earning money, you’ll likely start accumulating super. Knowing how much super you’re entitled to, when it should be paid, and what to do if your employer does the wrong thing empowers you to take control of your money.
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