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Superannuation (or 'super') is an amount of money paid by your employer into a fund to provide for your retirement. Employers must pay a proportion of your wage into one of these funds. This is known as the Superannuation Guarantee.
Most employees are entitled to superannuation contributions from their employer, including permanent full-time and part-time workers, and casual workers.
An employee, for the purposes of the Superannuation Guarantee, is a person who receives payment of wages in return for the work that they do. Some contractors who are paid mainly for their labour may also be considered employees for superannuation purposes. If you are unsure about your entitlements, you should contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for clarification.
Some employees are not entitled to superannuation. This group includes those who are under 18 years of age and work 30 hours or less per week, and those who do domestic work for 30 hours or less per week.
The minimum contribution rate that must be paid by your employer into a superannuation fund can be found on the ATO website: ato.gov.au
Your earnings base usually includes your total wages (before tax) for your normal hours of work as well as any annual leave payments for leave actually taken. Some other payments such as pay instead of notice of termination, allowances, commission earned and performance based bonuses (unless the bonus is exclusively for working overtime) should also count as part of your earnings base.
Your earnings base may be stated in a Modern Award, Enterprise Agreement or employment contract. If it is not, then your earnings base will be based on your ordinary time earnings (OTE) which is the amount you earn for your ordinary hours of work.
More information on superannuation including underpayments can be found in the attached Fact Sheet, which we recommend you download.