If you are under 18 years old the rules are slightly different, but you can still start saving.
How much super should I be earning?
Those under 18 years old can still earn super if they work at least 30 hours a week and earn at least $450 in a calendar month. If you fulfil both these requirements, then your employer is required to pay 9.5% of your ordinary earnings into a super account for you.
You can check to see that you are being paid the super you are owed by looking at your pay slip. By law, your employer must include both the amount of super you are paid and the date it was paid into your account. You can also check your super balance through an online portal or over the phone, to make sure you are being paid what you are owed.
What should I do if I’m not being paid my super?
If you aren’t being paid super and you’re working at least 30 hours a week, first try talking to your employer. If that doesn’t work, you can contact the Australian Tax Office on 13 10 20.
If you have worked for a few different employers, you might have multiple super accounts. This can quite negatively impact your super savings, as you are likely paying fees for each individual account, costing you money. Think about combining your super into a single account, keeping your fees down. If you’re not sure if you have other super accounts, you can also look to find lost super.
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Look after your super
You should also remember that you don’t have to use the super account your employer prefers. You are free to nominate your preferred super provider to receive your super guarantee payments. Ask your employer for a super choice fund form or download it from the ATO website.
As a younger worker, you’re likely earning a low income, making you eligible for government contributions to your super. If you earn less than $37,000 you can receive up to $500 a year from the government to your super account. If you earn under $51,813 a year you can also receive co-contributions from the government for any after-tax contributions you make.
Super is your money and it’s there for your future. If you take the time to establish your super now, it should continue to grow throughout your working life. Retirement may be a long way off, but a bit of work now can pay dividends later. Make sure to learn more about super and compare the available funds here.