Superannuation is a payment that is made by an employer on behalf of an employee to the employee's superannuation fund. Employers are required by law to make a payment of 9.50% of the employee's wage (as at July 2014), and this is in addition to their wage.
Superannuation is generally payable for all employees who are:
If an award or enterprise agreement applies to your job, you may have other rights in relation to superannuation.
Your employer must pay superannuation on your behalf, at least once every three months. The payments must be made by the following cut off dates:
Cut off date
1 January - 31 March
1 April - 30 June
1 July - 30 September
1 October - 31 December
If your employer isn't paying your superannuation regularly, or isn't paying you superannuation at all, you can contact the
Australian Tax Office (ATO) and make a complaint against your employer. The ATO will investigate your complaint. For more information, see Unpaid super on the ATO website.
You can check if your employer is paying superannuation by looking at your payslip or contacting your superannuation fund. You can also check your super online using myGov.
You can access your superannuation funds when you reach 'preservation age' and retire or when you turn 65, even if you haven't retired.
Your preservation age will be between 55 and 60 years old.
If you were born before 1 July 1960, your preservation age is 55. If you were born after 30 June 1960, the preservation age increases by one year to age 60 on an annual basis.
There are very limited circumstances where you can access your superannuation money early. You should get
legal advice if you think you need to.
Australian Tax Office
Fair Work Ombudsman