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.
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 $55 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 (11%) 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.
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.
This is general information only and does not take account of your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on it, consider if the information is appropriate and whether you need to speak to an accredited professional. When considering financial returns, past performance is not indicative of future performance.
This product is issued by Diversa Trustees Limited (ABN 49 006 421 638; AFSL No. 235153; RSE Licence L0000635) as trustee for Professional Super which is a sub-fund of the Tidswell Master Superannuation Plan (ABN 34 300 938 877; RSE R1004953). Professional Superannuation Management Pty Ltd (ABN 31 617 160 791; AFSL No. 499786) (PSM) is the Promoter of Professional Super, which is marketed under multiple brands including Student Super.