Every employer has to pay the Superannuation in Australia for its employees. This “super” is the pension fund for when you retire.
The employer is required to pay Superannuation if the employee earns at least $450 per month. Furthermore, the employee has to be older than 18, or, if not, has to work at least 30 hours per week. Otherwise, the super payment is not required by law.
How much is the Superannuation?
The current percentage of the superannuation, which the employer has to pay, is 9.5% and is calculated on the gross income of a 38-hour-week. For example, $25 per hour equates to $950 dollars in a 38-hour week. The employer is required to pay 9.5% of Super, which in this example is $90.25 (950×9.5%).
IMPORTANT: If you work less than 38 hours per week, your gross wage for the calculation of the superannuation is reduced accordingly as well. However, if you work more than 38 hours per week, that does not increase the retirement premiums. For example, if you do 40 hours per week, then you don’t earn any super contributions for the 2 overtime hours.
The superannuation is always paid by the employer and is added to the gross salary. This is important for you, as Backpackers can claim the Super back when you leave the country.
The percentage of the superannuation will be 9.5% until June 30, 2021. Thereafter, it is increased by 0.5% annually until 2025, until 12% are reached.
Where is the Superannuation paid to?
There are several funds to deposit the Super payments. The employee has the freedom to choose which fund the Super is paid to – the employer must always use the fund which the employee specifies.
When you work for the first time in Down Under, your Super payments are most likely paid into the fund, which the employer usually uses, unless you explicitly specify a particular fund.
Important: When you apply for a new Superannuation fund, provide an address, where you can also receive mail. Because you will get a membership number sent. Alternatively, you can also get your membership number via phone.
What happens after a Job Change?
If you change the job, it is your right, that your new employer pays the super contributions to your super fund, which you already use.
Important: Do not forget to specify your own Superfund if you already have one. When you leave the country, you get the money back. By having just one super account, you can make just one super claim and don’t have to pay extra fees.
TIP: Open a Superannuation account with your Bank
Australian banks manage their own super funds. When you open a bank account (here we tell you which bank is the best), you can also open a Superfund at the same time.
You can simply give the details of your Super account to your employers, who pay the amount into your account. So you have your Superannuation fund set up at the beginning of your trip and you can get all your super payments into a single account.
Furthermore, you have your bank and Super account at a single institution and you can get information about it in every branch.
Here you can find the official site of the Superannuation fund of the National Australia Bank – our favorite Australian bank (read here why).
How can I see how much Money is Paid into my Super Account?
The amount of the superannuation is explicitly stated on the payslip. If this is not the case, ask your employer. Employers sometimes misuse the lack of knowledge of the backpackers and do not pay the superannuation.
There is no system in place that checks this automatically. Not paying the Super is, of course, illegal, so you should contact the employer immediately. This can lead to considerable problems with the financial authorities for them. If necessary, you can also seek help at the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Before doing this, make sure you earned more than $450 a month. If you are under 18, you must have worked at least 30 hours per week. If this is not the case, the employer is not obliged to pay superannuation.
How to Claim your Superannuation back
If you are working a lot in Australia, the Superannuation can sum up to a quite a significant amount of money. You can claim back the contributions, which are made by employers on your behalf.