How To Check You’re Getting Paid Correctly

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HomeLearning HubHow To Check You’re Getting Paid Correctly
When you get paid, you see the money in your bank account. But what is often overlooked is how much tax and super is set aside for you. This is money that you don’t see frequently. So, you may only realise there’s been a mistake when it’s time to file your tax return or after the end of the quarter when the employer super payments are due.
Here’s our guide on how to check your payslips and what you can do when you notice a mistake.
We’ve used an example below – not all payslips will look the same, but the key categories are generally the same.

1. Salary & Wages

  • Check that your pay period is correct (weekly, fortnightly, monthly).
  • Check your hours match what you worked.
  • Check your hourly rate (including any loadings you’re entitled to) is correct.
  • Check the total pay is correct, so calculate Hours x Rate = This Pay $
  • YTD means “Year To Date” so what you have been paid in total for the financial year (July 1 – June 30).

2. Tax

  • PAYG is “Pay As You Go”. This is the tax your employer will take out of your wages to pay the tax office on your behalf.
  • Your tax rate will be different depending on a number of factors. You can use a tax calculator from the ATO here.
  • STSL stands “Study and Training Support Loans” and would appear if you have taken a student loan such as HELP (Higher Education Loan Program), and told your employer. You can read more about the STSL income thresholds and repayment rates on the ATO here.

3. Superannuation

  • Check the super fund is the one that you nominated. If your member number is included, check it’s correct by logging in to your account.
  • Check if you were eligible for super in this period. You can use the super calculator here.
  • Super money is paid directly into your super account by your employer. Your employer must do this at least 4 times per year. Find out more about super guarantee deadlines here.
  • The super on your payslips doesn’t confirm that your super has actually been paid. It shows how much super has been put aside to be paid by the quarterly deadline. So, it’s a great practice to log into your super account every quarter to check it’s been paid.

4. Your pay details

  • Check that your bank details are correct.
  • Check that your final pay amount is what you see in your bank account. It should be Gross Wages – Tax = Your Pay $

What if you didn’t receive a payslip at all?

According to the FairWork Ombudsman, employees are entitled to receive a digital or paper payslip. Your employer must give you a payslip within 1 working day of your pay day.
If your workplace uses digital payslips, and you haven’t received one – check your junk inbox and then, double check with your employer or payroll officer that the email address they have on file is correct.

What if you notice a mistake on your payslip?

First things first, work out what the mistake is. After you have gone through the above steps to read through your payslip, what doesn’t look correct?
  • Your wages are incorrect
    You could ask someone that you confide in to double check the calculations. You can check that your payslip’s pay rate matches to what is in your employment contract.
    If the calculations still don’t make sense, just ask your employer to explain how your wages are calculated.
  • Your amount of tax doesn’t look correct
    Tax can be a tricky one – as it depends on everyone’s individual circumstances. It’s best you use the ATO’s calculator here.
  • Your super isn’t being paid into the right super fund
    Most Aussies have the right to choose their super fund, there are exceptions, for example if your industry is covered by an award. The FairWork Ombudsman has information about super and industry awards here.
    But, if you notice the super fund on your payslip is not the one you nominated – you can talk to your employer and hand in another copy of your super nomination form. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first day or last day of work, you have the right to nominate where your super is paid. For Student Super members, you can get a pre-filled copy here.
  • Your super amount is incorrect
    Double check the amount by using ASIC’s calculator here. You can login to your super account to see the transactions. But just remember - your employer does have until the deadline each quarter to make the payment. You can find the deadlines here.

What if your employer is not co-operating?

If you have listed your concerns and spoken to your employer and they are not co-operating – you could decide it’s time to get some external help. If it’s regarding your wages, you could contact the FairWork Ombudsman. For tax and super issues, it’s a good idea to speak to the ATO.
We hope that this has been useful! At Student Super, we want to educate our members so they have an understanding about their money, tax and super. We hope that by learning about wealth at a younger age, you will be able to make informed decisions and avoid expensive mistakes many Australians make.

We discount most fees for members with balances under $1,000.

See our Fees & discounts page or PDS for details