If you’re 18 years old or over and you earn more than $450 each month, your employer should be making super guarantee contributions of 9.5% of your wage or salary.
The majority of employers do the right thing, but a 2019 report by Industry Super Australia (ISA) showed that in 2016-17, up to one third of eligible Australian workers were underpaid their super entitlements. That’s 2.85 million Australians losing out on almost $6 billion dollars each year.
Workers under 35 are missing out most
An alarming 75% of Australians affected by underpayments are under the age of 35, earn under $30,000 each year or are in blue collar jobs.
How can you tell if your employer is underpaying your super?
It’s easy enough to see if your employer simply isn’t paying you any super at all, but knowing if they’re underpaying you a portion is more difficult to detect.
Calculate the amount of super your employer should be paying you
- The ATO has a great Estimate my super tool which calculates the amount of super you should be receiving from your employer.
- Using the estimated amount, check your payslip to see if the amounts line up.
- Confirm that the amount of super on your payslip is actually going into your super account. With Tasplan, you can easily view account transactions in Tasplan Online. Simply navigate to Transactions>Transaction history.
What if it looks like your employer is underpaying your super?
The first thing you should do is approach your employer. There are various factors that can affect the amount of super guarantee your employer is required to make, such as allowances and expenses. Consider that it could be an innocent oversight on your employer’s part, and don’t assume they’re deliberately ripping you off.
If, however, you can’t reach an agreement with your employer, there are steps you can take.
How do you report super guarantee non-compliance?
Super guarantee non-compliance is an issue the government takes seriously.
If your employer hasn’t met their super guarantee obligations to you (not paid your super, paid your super late, or paid your super to the wrong fund), you can report it online to the ATO.
You can lodge an unpaid super enquiry online which provides the ATO with your employer’s details and the nature of your complaint. The ATO will then investigate your case and will keep you updated about the progress of your enquiry by letter or email.
The information you’ll need to provide includes:
• your personal details including tax file number
• the period of your enquiry
• your employer’s details including their ABN
The investigation can be a lengthy process, but considering the importance your super will play in your future, it's well worth the wait.
What if you don’t want to be identified?
You can report underpayment by completing a tip-off form available on the ATO website at ato.gov.au/tipoff or over phone on 1800 060 062.
Why is it important to make sure you’re receiving your super entitlements?
It might seem obvious, but being underpaid can leave a real dent in your lifestyle down the track. According to ASFA (the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia), the average person affected by super guarantee non-compliance loses around $3,800 a year. For a 25 year old, a one-off loss of this amount could equal a loss of 14% or $8,000 each year (or over $150 each week) at retirement in today’s dollars.