My employer hasn’t been paying my superannuation guarantee

What are my options if my employer is not paying my superannuation guarantee contributions?

In Australia, employers are required to pay a minimum percentage of eligible employees’ earnings into a superannuation fund. This is called the ‘superannuation guarantee’ and is designed to fund retirement. The superannuation guarantee rate is currently set at 9.5% of earnings. Some employers also make additional contributions. It is acknowledged that a number of employers are not paying the required super guarantee payments which leads us to the question, ‘What can you do about unpaid employer contributions of superannuation?”

Am I entitled to superannuation?

If you earn more than $450.00 per month before tax, your employer is generally required to pay 9.5% superannuation, in addition to your wages, to a superannuation fund on your behalf.*

If your employer is required to make superannuation contributions, your payslip must contain information about any amount that has been paid during the pay period, or the amount that your employer is liable to pay for that period.

When is my employer required to pay my superannuation contributions?

While some employers choose to pay superannuation contributions each pay period, they are not required to do so. Rather, your employer is required to pay your superannuation contributions (at least) once every three months.

The quarterly payment schedule for superannuation contributions is:

  1. for the period 1 July – 30 September: by 30 November;
  2. for the period 1 October – 31 December: by 28 February;
  3. for the period 1 January – 31 March: by 28 May; and
  4. for the period 1 April – 30 June: by 28 August.

You should regularly check your superannuation balance and contribution history to ensure that your employer is complying with its legal obligations to pay your superannuation contributions. Regularly checking your superannuation balance will enable you to identify any issue early, and before your employer falls too far behind.

What if my employer hasn’t been paying my superannuation contributions?

If you have checked your superannuation account and noticed that your employer hasn’t been paying your superannuation guarantee contributions, in full, by the quarterly deadline, the Australian Taxation Office is generally the best place to direct your initial enquiries.

The ATO is the government body responsible for taking complaints about unpaid superannuation contributions and will prioritise the investigation and, if relevant, the recovery of your unpaid superannuation contributions. Where appropriate, the ATO will also require your employer to repay an additional amount to ensure that you are compensated for any lost interest as a result of your money not being available for investment by your superannuation fund.

It is very easy to report unpaid superannuation contributions to the ATO.

Getting legal help

If you believe your employer has not been complying with its legal obligations to pay superannuation guarantee contributions on your behalf, you should get legal advice about the options available to you.

The employment and industrial relations team at Hall Payne Lawyers is well equipped to provide you with the advice that you need.

* The superannuation guarantee rate has been 9.5% since July 2014. It is due to increase from July 2021 by 0.05% and a further 0.05% each July thereafter until July 2025 when the rate will be 12%.

  This article relates to Australian law; either at a State or Federal level.

The information contained on this site is for general guidance only. No person should act or refrain from acting on the basis of such information. Appropriate professional advice should be sought based upon your particular circumstances. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Hall Payne Lawyers.


Get in touch with today's blog writer:
Kris Birch

Senior Associate in Industrial & Employment Law, Health Law, Criminal Law

Previous Blog Post Next Blog Post