Some employers neglect their duty to contribute to their employees’ super funds.
It’s up to you to check your super fund for the sake of your future security. If you find that your employer has failed to make adequate contributions, you can resolve the matter in several ways. We discuss your alternatives and talk you through the relevant steps.
Your employer can underpay or even fail to pay your superannuation contributions for one of several reasons: they may be deliberately avoiding their obligations, or they may believe they’re not responsible for the payments.
For example, some employers try to treat employees like subcontractors, taking the view that they’re not obliged to pay entitlements such as superannuation contributions. However, if the company you work for controls your work hours, determines your duties, provides the tools for your work or meets other control measures, this indicates an employer–employee relationship. In these cases, employers are usually responsible for meeting Superannuation Guarantee obligations.
Prevention is always better than retrospective resolution, so it’s worth checking that your employer is meeting their superannuation obligations. Many people assume that their employers are doing the right thing, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, a recent report shows that up to 20% of employers fail to meet their Superannuation Guarantee obligations.
Even if you won’t need your superannuation for many years, there are other important reasons to check that your employer is making contributions. For one thing, any unpaid super can compromise the income-insurance cover your fund may include: your employer’s failure to pay any superannuation contributions — which includes making late payments — can leave you without total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance, death cover, income protection and terminal-illness cover for that period of time.
To ensure that your employer is making regular super contributions, read your pay slips and check with your super fund (perhaps by reading your member statements).
If you believe that your employer has underpaid some of your super contributions or simply left them unpaid, you can resolve the matter in several ways:
If the company that has failed to make the correct superannuation contributions no longer exists, it’s still worth lodging a complaint with the ATO or pursuing legal advice. Depending on the situation, you or your lawyers could make an argument for payment of the super contributions or other financial losses.
If you're unable to work due to illness or injury, you may be eligible to claim on your superannuation insurance. Your injury doesn't need to be work related. Our specialist superannuation lawyers are here to help.
Our Canberra office is now closed, but our team continues to serve ACT clients and are available for phone and video appointments. If you need legal advice, please call us on 1800 675 346.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.