Q: What steps can I take to ensure my employer contributes all I’m owed to my super fund? I have been asking my employer for the last 3-4 months about putting my super contributions into my super fund, as they have not done so since I started working there about 1.5 years ago. I only realised that there were no payments being made when I received my yearly statement from my super fund, and I have been asking ever since to no avail. I am about to relocate overseas. I understand that my employer has also not paid super contributions for some employees who are temporary residents, and they have no clue what to do about it. Any help you have would be greatly appreciated, as I’m in quite a tough spot here.
A: I suggest you report this situation to the ATO on the special ATO Superannuation Hotline by phoning 13 10 20. Explain the urgency of your situation to the ATO, and also to the super fund where you have your account. Your employer may have a contractual arrangement with your super fund, which means the super fund can also chase these payments on your behalf.
The ATO has stepped up its compliance program in chasing slack employers who fail to pay SG contributions on behalf of employees. According to the ATO, the industries that have a reputation for SG non-compliance include road freight/transport, automotive repair and electrical services industries.
Background: Your employer must pay your quarterly Superannuation Guarantee (SG) entitlements by a certain date (see table below), and most employers do the right thing. For the benefit of other readers I outline how an employee can check whether an employer has paid his or her Superannuation Guarantee (SG) entitlements.
SG deadlines for employers
|Payment period||SG deadline for each 3-month period|
|1 July – 30 September||28 October|
|1 October – 31 December||28 January|
|1 January – 31 March||28 April|
|1 April – 30 June||28 July|
Note: An Australian employee who is considered to be a temporary resident, can claim their super benefits when leaving the country by applying for a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) (click here for more information) when leaving Australia.
If an employer fails to pay SG then the employer is liable for the Superannuation Guarantee Charge which involves paying the SG owed, plus an interest premium, plus an administration fee.
In the situation where a temporary resident is involved, presumably the ATO will arrange payment of the SG owing to the temporary resident by remitting the amount overseas in accordance with the DASP application. Note that tax will be deducted from the DASP.
For those readers who are temporary residents, you may also find helpful our article Superannuation Guarantee: Do we have to pay SG for overseas workers?
How to check that your employer has paid your SG entitlements – in 3 steps
- Check that the due payment date has passed for your employer’s quarterly SG contribution (see table above). Your employer may pay your SG entitlements more frequently – monthly or even fortnightly.
- Ask your employer, or your employer’s payroll officer, if, and when, the SG contribution was made.
- Check with your super fund via the telephone, or via the internet (if you have online access to your super account details), that the SG contribution was received by the fund.
What information do I need to give to the ATO?
Before you phone the ATO on 13 10 20, try to collect the following information:
- Your tax file number
- Your employer’s Australian Business Number (ABN). You can find this number on the company’s stationery or on receipts etc
- Your employer’s name, address and contact details.
What if my employer has gone broke?
If your employer has not paid your super entitlements into your super fund, and your employer has gone out of business, chasing your SG entitlements can become more difficult. I explain this scenario in Super for Beginners, part 19: My employer has gone broke. What happens to my SG entitlements?