What is super?
Superannuation (also called ‘super’) ) is money for your retirement. You build up super while you are working to make sure you can have a comfortable retirement. Australia has a compulsory system of superannuation, which means the money for your retirement comes mostly from compulsory super contributions that your employer pays into your super fund. By law, from 1 July 2021 your employer has to pay 10 per cent of your salary into your super fund. This is called the Superannuation Guarantee. Usually, you can’t get this money until you retire.
The Superannuation Guarantee rate has been 9.5 per cent for several years, but is being raised gradually to 12 per cent. The rate will increase from 9.5 per cent to 10 percent on 1 July 2021, and then in 0.5 per cent increments annually until 1 July 2025 when it will finally reach 12 per cent.
You can also make extra voluntary before or after tax contributions to help grow your super savings. The government also offers a co-contribution scheme to help build your balance. For more information, see our Making contributions section.
Am I eligible for super?
Most people working in Australia are entitled to be paid super by their employer. This means your employer has to pay a minimum of 10% of your salary (from 1 July 2021) into your super fund if:
- you’re over 18 and you’re paid more than $450* (before tax) in a calendar month
- you’re under 18 and are paid a minimum of $450* (before tax) in a calendar month and work 30 or more hours a week.
It doesn’t matter if you’re working full time, part time or casually – if you meet the above criteria, you should receive SG contributions from your employer.
The Government has announced that it plans to remove the $450 per month minimum income threshold for SG contributions. This is expected to take effect from 1 July 2022, but the precise timing will depend on when the necessary change to the law is passed by Parliament.
For more information see How does super work?