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Unpaid super: ATO delivers $700m retirement boost for thousands

While the vast majority of Aussie employers are doing the right thing, there are still some who aren’t paying employees correctly.

Millions of dollars in unpaid superannuation has been clawed back from employers and given to Aussie workers.

New data from the ATO revealed $683.8 million in super entitlements had been recouped and distributed to super funds and individuals, directly boosting their retirement savings.

This includes unpaid super raised by employee complaints, ATO compliance activities and voluntary employer disclosures.

Composite image of ATO logo and Australian office workers.
The ATO has recouped millions in unpaid super. (Source: ATO/AAP)

Have you been impacted by unpaid super? Contact tamika.seeto@yahooinc.com to share your story.

For the 2022-23 financial year, specifically, the ATO collected and distributed $387 million of super-guarantee entitlements to the funds of around 485,000 workers.

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ATO deputy commissioner Emma Rosenzweig said most employers were doing the right thing, with more than 94 per cent of employers paying the correct super guarantee amount to employees.

But Rosenzweig said the ATO took non-compliance with super-guarantee obligations seriously.

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“Super belongs to employees for their future retirement savings and we do everything we can to ensure Australia’s hard-working employees are receiving their lawful entitlements from their employers,” Rosenzweig said.

Employers who don’t pay super in full, on time and to the right fund, are liable for the super-guarantee charge. This is more than the super employers would have otherwise paid to the employee’s fund.

The ATO said it raised more than $1.13 billion in super-guarantee charge liabilities during the 2022-23 financial year.

How to claim unpaid super

Rosenzweig recommended employees firstly contact their super fund to get the most recent information about their account.

Employers currently only have to pay super at a minimum of four times a year, however, some may pay more frequently and align with your salary payment.

New rules will come into effect from July 1, 2026, which will require employers to pay their employees’ super at the same time as their salary and wages.

If your employer hasn’t paid your super correctly, you can report your employer to the ATO using its online tool.

“We encourage employees to get in touch with us as soon as possible if they believe they aren’t being paid their eligible super,” Rosenzweig said.

“We review and respond to every notification of unpaid super received from an employee. This process can take some time, and we can’t promise we’ll be able to recover all your unpaid super, but we’ll do our best and keep you updated along the way.”

There are other ways workers can try to claim unpaid super from their employer, including going to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

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