What is Superannuation?

Superannuation for students

Most people are entitled to compulsory super contributions from their employer. These super guarantee contributions must be at least 9% of your ordinary time earnings. You may also be entitled to choose the fund your super is paid into.

Eligibility for compulsory employer contributions

Generally, you’re entitled to super guarantee contributions from an employer if you’re over 18 and paid $450 or more (before tax) in a month. It doesn’t matter whether you’re full time, part time or casual, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a temporary resident of Australia.

If you’re under 18 you must meet these conditions and work more than 30 hours in a week to be entitled to super guarantee contributions.

If you’re a contractor paid wholly or principally for your labour, you’re considered an employee for super purposes and entitled to super guarantee contributions under the same rules as employees.

For more information, visit the ATO website and look for the Guide to superannuation for individuals – overview.

Choosing a super fund

Most people can choose the super fund they want their employer contributions paid into. If you’re eligible to choose a fund, your employer must give you a Standard choice form so you can make that choice in writing.

For more information, visit the ATO website and look for Choosing a super in the Guide to superannuation for individuals – overview.

Departing Australia superannuation payment

If you’re a temporary resident working in Australia, your employer has to make super guarantee contributions for you if you’re eligible. You may be paid your super money once you have left Australia. This is called a departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP).

You can apply for a DASP if all of the following apply:

  •          you visited on a temporary visa (excluding visa subclasses 405 and 410)
  •          your visa ceased to be in effect
  •          you have left Australia.


This payment is not available to Australian or New Zealand citizens, or permanent residents. If you claim your super payment, you may still be able to return to Australia on another visa.

For Tax or Superannuation Assistance please contact Pathway to Aus friendly staff.