Am I Losing Out On My Superannuation?

Broken Retirement PlansA recent article on this site discussed the benefits of making additional payments into your superannuation fund via concessional (pre-tax) or non-concessional (after-tax) contributions. The point of that article was that your employer guaranteed superannuation contributions may not be enough to support your retirement plans. But how can you tell whether you really are getting all the super you are entitled to?

Currently, employers are required to contribute 9.5% of your salary into your superannuation fund (either their default superannuation provider or one that you specify). This percentage is scheduled to increase to 12% by 2025 (although the government may adjust this again); however, depending on the package you have negotiated with your employer, you may in fact end up worse off with the upcoming increases.

How could this occur? If you have a salary plus super package, then your employer has agreed to pay you a base salary of a certain amount plus the required minimum percentage of super, so they will be obliged to increase their contributions in line with the percentage increases. If you have negotiated a total package that includes super, then your employer is only obliged to pay that amount, any increases in the amount required to be paid into super can theoretically be deducted from your pay in the hand. While most employers appear to be making the additional contributions themselves at this point, it is worth keeping in mind as the contribution percentage continues to increase.

This isn’t the only way you can end up missing out on superannuation contributions. While your employer’s superannuation contribution is listed on your payslip, that doesn’t automatically mean that your super fund is receiving the same amount. Your payslip is simply a record of what is due and has no impact on whether or not the money has been transferred.

In order to confirm whether you are receiving your entitlements you can contact your superannuation fund directly. If you don’t know which super fund you are with, your super is probably going into your employer’s preferred fund. You can also register on the myGov website and use their superannuation tracker to determine which fund you are with and whether you have multiple funds linked to previous positions.

The first step in the process should be to talk to your employer about your super fund’s details, as they will have them on file. If they can’t provide details or are otherwise acting suspiciously, you can contact the ATO to discuss your options.

By Jennifer Lowe

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