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Unpaid Superannuation and How to File a Claim

Unpaid Superannuation and How to File a Claim

Your employer is required to make a contribution of a certain percentage to a super fund on your behalf under the Superannuation Guarantee Scheme. However, some employers might underpay or even fail to make this contribution to their employees’ funds.

Unfortunately, not many employees check if the contribution has been made. Some are not even aware of the superannuation contribution. To determine whether or not your employer is rightfully paying you, it is essential to understand unpaid superannuation thoroughly.

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What Is Unpaid Superannuation?

An unpaid super is money you earned working for your employers but failed to receive. If you work part-time or full-time and earn $450 or more monthly, your employer is required by Australian law to pay a percentage of your income in your superfund after three months.

This superannuation fund amount builds your retirement savings. If the employer hasn’t been making this contribution, you are missing out on thousands of dollars. You must determine whether you are getting the amount you rightfully earn and file a claim otherwise.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will evaluate the case and recover any unpaid superannuation your employer owns, including penalties and interest.

Reasons Behind Missing Superannuation?

Before you start the process of filing a claim, you must determine one thing – are the employers paying the superannuation?

All employers are obliged to pay the amount to the superannuation fund of all employees by the end of each quarter. However, this fund isn’t usually watched by any employees, unlike the weekly or monthly payments, as it doesn’t have an impact on their weekly or monthly payment.

Therefore, it might be hard to determine if your employer isn’t making their legally obligated payments in your fund. Missing or late contributions in the super fund might occur due to several reasons, including:

  • Deliberately avoiding the obligation
  • Problems in the cash flow resulting in late or missing superannuation
  • Lack of proper administration because of inadequate systems, employee growth, or busy periods
  • Innocent mistakes

No matter the reason, you are being underpaid and not getting the money you are entitled to receive. While it might not seem a lot if you look at one-time contributions, it can quickly add up to thousands of dollars that should have been added to your retirement fund through the super fund. Your retirement fund shrinks drastically just because your employer isn’t fulfilling their obligation.

Now, you might be wondering how to determine whether you are getting paid.

Ways to Determine Unpaid Superannuation

To check any unpaid superannuation on your employer’s part, you have to follow a few simple steps. Here’s what you need to do:

Start by checking your weekly or monthly payslip or the annual payment summary. There should be a separate section showing the superannuation amount paid by the employer on your behalf.

  1. Next, multiply your ordinary salary by 0.010 (super percentage 10%). The listed superannuation contribution by your employer on your payslip or summary must be close to the amount you calculated.
  2. Lastly, find your recent superannuation statements and check the amounts. Do the amounts on the statements match the amount listed on the payment summary or payslip?
  3. If you are unable to find the details of superannuation on your payslip, your employer must be able to provide them to you upon request.

What should be your next move if the numbers don’t match? It’s time to file a claim.

Steps to File an Unpaid Superannuation Claim

Realizing your employer hasn’t been paying you the amount your rightfully deserve can get stressful. However, there are possibilities that this could have been a mistake or error. Therefore, before you get in touch with ATO regarding unpaid superannuation, here are a few steps to follow:

  1. Firstly, check your eligibility for receiving the superannuation from your employer. You are only eligible if you are over 18 years of age and earn more than $450 every month (before tax).
  2. Secondly, get in touch with your employer to inquire about your unpaid superannuation if you notice any discrepancy. As mentioned earlier, it could be an administrative delay or an innocent mistake. Request your employer to restore the funds. Your employer should notify you once the mistake has been rectified or inform you in case of further delay.
  3. If your employer still doesn’t pay the missing amount or refuses to do so, it is time to take some measures. Get in touch with the fund manager and explain your problem by providing the following:
  • Employer’s name, address, and contact information
  • Australian Business Number (ABN) of the employer
  • Your tax file number
  1. Often, the fund management company has a dedicated department to resolve these issues and, in many cases, the issue is resolved once they get in touch with the employer.
  2. If this doesn’t work, you must notify the ATO by calling 13 10 20 or reporting the unpaid super online.

It can be an overwhelming process for you to identify the unpaid super and filing a claim. Therefore, it is best to consult professionals to guide you and help you through the process.

Time Limit to Recover Unpaid Superannuation

Employees can make a claim for unpaid superannuation contributions from the past five years. This is the period employers are obliged to keep a record of the contributions. However, you can still claim unpaid super for more than five years ago if you have the required documentation.

ATO usually requires you to submit the super fund statements and your payslips for the period you did not receive the contributions. ATO will first evaluate your case and then start an investigation if they have all the required documentation. It might take more time if you choose to stay anonymous.

The entire process of unpaid superannuation claims can be daunting and confusing for many. Here’s where we step in. Bankruptcy Advisory Center can help you every step of the way to resolve the unpaid super problem.

We have specialists in the areas of superannuation who can guide you and ensure that you receive the entitled amount you have worked hard for.


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