New to Australia
If you’re new to Australia, and employed here, you will most likely need to join a superannuation fund in order to receive your compulsory, or Superannuation Guarantee (SG), contributions.
Often referred to simply as ‘super’, superannuation is Australia’s long-term savings vehicle for retirement. In many countries, this is known as the pension system.
Most people working in Australia are entitled to be paid the SG by their employer. This means your employer must pay a minimum of 10 per cent (from 1 July 2021) of your salary into a superannuation fund if:
- you’re over 18
- are paid a minimum of $450* (before tax) in a calendar month;
- you’re under 18 years old;
- are paid a minimum of $450* (before tax) in a calendar month; and
- work 30 or more hours in a week.
It doesn’t matter if you are in Australia to work permanently or temporarily, or if you’re working full time, part time, or casually – if you meet the above criteria, you should receive SG contributions from your employer.
There are many different types of super funds, and usually you will be entitled to choose which fund you’d like to join. Your employer must give you a standard choice form within 28 days of you beginning your job. If you don’t receive one, make sure to ask.
* 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.
If you don’t feel ready to make a choice, every employer has a ‘default fund’ that your contributions will go into if you don’t choose a fund.
To learn more about the different types of funds and for help in choosing the right one for you, see Super Guru’s Choosing a fund page.
Can I transfer my overseas retirement savings to an Australian super fund?
You may be able to transfer your superannuation (or equivalent) balance from a foreign super or pension fund to a complying Australian super fund, or yourself. This all depends on the rules of your foreign super fund.
For more information, visit the ATO website.