Are you clued up about your super?

Do you know if you’re being paid the right amount of superannuation?

Well, the Australian Tax Office says many people are being caught out, with 11 to 20 per cent of employers non-compliant with their Superannuation Guarantee obligation.

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That’s the nine-point-five per cent of your earnings that is put towards your nest egg your employer.

That means many workers are being robbed of their retirement savings.

Ricardo Goncalves has the details.

Sydney resident, Serkan Ozturk wasn’t paid superannuation by a previous employer for as long as 15 months.

“At the time it was seven-thousand dollars, I was only paid about three months of all the super I was owed and that was at the first 3 months of working at the organisation at the time.”

He says other colleague alerted him to the shortfall.

“I had a look at my own super fund and the level it was at – and noticed it hadn’t moved for quite a while and I raised those concerns with my direct managers and editors at the time.”

He eventually got what he was owed after he put up a fight.

Last year, about 846,000 employers were required to make superannuation guarantee payments on behalf of nearly 12 million employees – to more than half a million super funds.

Total employer contributions totalled $77-billion.

AustralianSuper Membership Group Executive, Paul Schroder says it should have been a lot more.

“We’ve done our investigations with TRIA investments and found that its probably about 2.5 billion dollars a year lost and affecting 650,000 workers across Australia.”

The Australian Tax Office says non-complicance is ‘endemic’, especially in small businesses and industries where a large number of cash transactions and contracting arrangements occur.

The national secretary of the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia, Michelle O’Neil, says she receives complaints all the time.

“We recently had a company that was a textile company, we had three workers join the union, the company had been in operation for 20 years, these workers had been working there for about three, and had not received a cent in superannuation. They hadn’t been joined into a fund, and in fact the company hadn’t paid at all in over 20 years”

For every year someone is affected by superannuation guarantee non-compliance – their retirement income is reduced by two per cent on average.

But it’s low income and young members most at risk, an average 25 year old for example impacted by superannuation guarantee non-complicance for five years loses 14 per cent of their retirement income, or 8,000 dollars a year.

Michelle O’Neil says many of them also don’t have English as a first language.

“So they’re not necessarily confident or comfortable with the information they might get from their super fund or be able to access it easily online. so when they’re told their super is being paid, they believe it.”

The Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia wants more action.

“We need tougher regulations and law, we need tough corporations law which holds directors of companies liable and responsible for the underpayment or non-payment of super.”

In the meantime, workers need to be more vigilant and check their payslip and super fund balances.

If there’s a problem, raise it with your employeer, or lodge an enquiry with the ATO.