Superannuation is a form of retirement saving and is a payment that most employees receive in addition to your wage. Superannuation is not paid into your ordinary bank account but rather into your nominated Superannuation account.
Superannuation is calculated on all of your ordinary time earnings with the current minimum rate is set at 9.5% and paid every three months. An employer can choose to pay a higher rate of superannuation as part of your employment package.
It is important to note that not all workers are employees and not all employees get compulsory superannuation payments however they can make their own voluntary contributions. Workers under 18 years old are not normally eligible for compulsory superannuation however if they earn more than $450 per month and work more than 30 hours a week they may still be eligible for payments..
What are ordinary time earnings, generally includes wages for time worked however doesn’t include extra non standard wages such as overtime, shift loading, commission. Superannuation is generally not paid on leave payments from termination of employment.
What to do if superannuation hasn’t been paid?
If you believe that there may be issues with your superannuation and it either hasn’t been paid or has been paid the wrong amount the best point of contact is your line manager, they will then be able to direct you to the appropriate department. Another great first contact point is your super funds website, many superfunds have basic advice offered either on their website or via the phone and are usually able to assist with questions regarding what has been paid and when.
Many industries have awards that cover your pay and condition, they will also state terms for superannuation payments which can be linked up to your superannuation statements. If you are an award free employee superannuation may be part of you initial contract offer keeping in mind that minimum superannuation payments apply.
If after investigation you think that your employee may have failed to pay superannuation correctly and they are unable to give you an explanation you feel comfortable with the ATO has a superannuation hotline which gives free advice.
Wage theft and superannuation requirements
If an organisation does not pay wages including superannuation correctly even accidentally they may be issued an infringement notice. Under some state laws incorrect superannuation payments can be termed wage theft. Under Victorian laws employers underpaying their staff could face up to a million dollars in fines per incident and in some cases jail time. Always ensure that wages and superannuation are paid timely and keep accurate records to avoid negative outcomes.