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What to Do if Your Employer Is Not Paying Superannuation

So you have noticed that your employer’s superannuation contributions are not quite as they should be. Perhaps they are not paying enough superannuation, or maybe they are not paying it at all. Either way, it does give you cause for concern since, after all, your superannuation affects your retirement. With this in mind, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) recommends 6 steps to walk through when you think your employer is neglecting your superannuation payments.

Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO)

Before following the ATO’s steps, the FWO recommends that you:

  • double check the award that applies to you
  • double check your payslip
  • contact your superannuation fund

Check your entitlement

The first step according to the ATO is to double check your entitlement to superannuation payments. To this end, the ATO provides a web tool for you to check your eligibility. Even if your employer asserts that you are a contractor, there are still situations in which they might need to pay your superannuation. To clarify, where the heart of your contract goes towards the supply of your work, which you do not delegate, you might have entitlement to superannuation payments. If the dispute regarding whether you are an employee or contractor persists, you may need to consult the opinion of an employment lawyer.

Additionally, you may have entitlement to superannuation contributions for termination payments. This generally applies to the termination payments that form part of your ordinary time earnings.

Check the contributions

The ATO recommends that you next check whether your employer is actually paying contributions into your superannuation fund. You can do this by logging into your ATO account via your myGov account.

Compare amounts

Thirdly, the ATO recommends that you check whether the amount of superannuation contributions that your employer has been paying is the amount that they should be paying. To this end, the ATO provides another tool that you can use to securely and anonymously estimate your entitled amount of superannuation. You will need to enter the relevant information for the period you wish to estimate. This information includes your gross salary or your wage without overtime earnings. The tool uses this information to calculate your ordinary time earnings as well as your entitled superannuation. If you receive $450 or more as wages or salary before tax, you should receive 9.5% of your ordinary time earnings in superannuation contributions. However, this only applies if you have reached the age of 18 or you work over 30 hours a week.

Discuss with your employer

Both the ATO and the FWO advise you to talk with your employer regarding the supperannuation payments. If all goes well, talking with your employer regarding your concerns can provide the cheapest, quickest, and most stress-free resolution to the issue. The process also helps you confirm what your employer knows about:

  • the fund that they are paying
  • the frequency at which they pay the fund
  • the amount they pay each time

This may lead to a clarification of a misunderstanding. Alternatively, it may help you confirm whether the problem lies with your employer when your payments do not appear online.

Confirm the contributions

The fifth step is the final step that goes towards locating the problem. The ATO encourages you to check your fund’s member statements to confirm how much you have received. See whether the amount on the statements is consistent with the amount of superannuation that your employer says they have been paying you. You may find it helpful to enquire whether any inconsistency could be explained by the fund’s systems.

Report your employer

The final step is reporting your employer to the ATO through another online tool. The ATO suggests that this is a last resort. You should come to this only after you have exhausted all the steps above. The tool will allow you to report unpaid superannuation, late superannuation, or superannuation paid into a wrong fund. You may report this for any quarter of the financial year after the ATO’s lodgment date of quarter has passed. The date range of each quarter and the corresponding lodgment date are as follows:

  • Quarter 1: 1 July – 30 September. Lodgment due 28 November
  • Quarter 2: 1 October – 31 December. Lodgment due 28 February
  • Quarter 3: 1 January – 31 March. Lodgment due 28 May
  • Quarter 4: 1 April – 30 June. Lodgment due 28 August

The ATO will not investigate your claims regarding a particular quarter unless the lodgment date for that quarter has passed.

When you report your employer, you will need to provide their details such as their Australian Business Number (ABN). You may find their ABN on your payslips or by searching the Australian Business Register. Additionally, you will need to provide your own details such as your Tax File Number.

If the ATO investigates your claims, they will update you as they work with your employer to resolve the issue. Moreover, they may penalise uncooperative employers.

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