For most people, super begins when you start work and your employer starts paying super for you.
If you're a contractor, you may also be entitled to super.
If you're self-employed, you can choose whether to contribute super for yourself.
You should provide your Tax File Number (TFN) to your employer and/or super fund. If you don’t, your super fund may take extra tax out of your super contributions and will not be able to accept any non-employer contributions.
You can choose between a super fund that manages your super for you or you can set up your own self-managed super fund (SMSF).
If you’re an employee, you are typically entitled to compulsory super contributions from your employer. From 1 July 2014, these super guarantee contributions must be at least 9.5% of your ordinary earnings, up to the ‘maximum contribution base’.
Generally, you’re entitled to super guarantee contributions from an employer if you’re:
It doesn’t matter whether you’re full time, part time or casual, or if you’re a temporary resident of Australia.
If you’re under 18, you must meet the above conditions and work more than 30 hours per week to be entitled to super contributions.
Your employer is not required to make super contributions if you’re:
Most people can choose the super fund they want their employer contributions paid into. You may also be able to choose how your savings are invested. Some fund investment strategies offer higher returns with higher risks, while others offer greater security for your money but with lower returns.
If you’re eligible to choose a fund you can do so using the Superannuation standard choice form. Your employer should give you the form when you start employment, or you can download it from our website via the link provided below.
If you don’t choose a super fund, your employer will choose one for you.
You’re generally eligible to choose a super fund for your super guarantee contributions if:
You’re not eligible to choose the super fund you want your super guarantee contributions paid into if:
You’re in a particular type of defined benefit fund or have already reached a certain level of benefit in that super fund.
There are five basic types of funds: