Have you checked your super contributions lately?

August 30, 2011, 12:11 pmYahoo7

While the majority of employers in Australia do the right thing, there are dishonest companies that fail to pay compulsory employer contributions.

Our highly regulated super system means that many Australians begin a new job, hand over their fund details and then don’t think to check that super payments are being made. It’s the law, after all, that companies make contributions to a complying super fund.

So why would you bother to check?

Because, unfortunately there are hard working Australians every year that discover their employer has failed to pay their compulsory employer super contributions (Superannuation Guarantee). By the time the tricked worker finds out what is happening the recalcitrant employer has shut up shop and disappeared, or started a new business somewhere else.

Just because a boss hands out payslips that show super payments are being made doesn’t necessarily mean the money has actually gone into a worker’s super fund. The problem arises because many Australians believe that the government ensures super is being paid, when there are a range of tricks that dishonest companies can use to avoid paying their employee superannuation obligations.

What can you do if your employer isn’t making super contributions?

If your employer is not paying enough super into your account, raise it with them first. If the matter can't be resolved, it’s time to call the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Superannuation Hotline on 13 10 20 for assistance or go to www.ato.gov.au/individuals.

Alternatively, the Fair Work Ombudsman may be able to help you if you have not received all of your workplace conditions and entitlements. The Fair Work Ombudsman may get you to complete a Wages and Conditions claim form and pursue your entitlements on your behalf, including going to court, if necessary.

What super payments should I be receiving?

Your employer must make super contributions to a complying super if you earn $450 or more in a calendar month and are aged between 18 and 70. This is called the Superannuation Guarantee (SG).

By law, companies must at least make super contribution to workers every 3 months.

The minimum contribution an employer must make under the SG is currently equal to 9% of a worker’s earnings base (usually ordinary time earnings). Your employer pays this amount to your super account on your behalf - it does not come out of your salary.

Use the ATO’s super guarantee calculator to find out how much super you should be getting paid.

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