How to recover missing super

8 November 2023

If your employer failed to pay your salary, chances are you’d notice. But what if they didn’t pay your superannuation? Every year, millions of employees miss out on unpaid super1.
The impacts of unpaid or missing super could come with long-term impacts - like a lower balance to live off in retirement. We take a look at the steps you can take to ascertain whether you may have missing super and, if so, how you might recover it.

The ongoing cost of unpaid super

Unpaid or underpaid super isn’t a one-time loss. It has compounding impacts. To understand why, first let’s look at how super works.

If you’re over 18, or working more than 30 hours a week, your employer is legally required to pay at least 11% of your wages2 into your super account. That’s called the super guarantee.

The savings in your super account today have the potential to benefit from compound returns. This means any returns you earn on your balance are being reinvested, allowing your savings to keep building until you retire.

So, any money that’s not in your account doesn’t have that opportunity to grow. And if your employer isn’t paying, or is underpaying your super, you could be missing out on the potential to maximise your returns for the future.

4 steps to ensure you’re getting your super

There’re a number of ways to ensure you’re not impacted by lost super.

  1. Make sure it’s paid: Track deposits by regularly logging into your account via your fund’s website or app. Where possible set up payment notifications via the app to be alerted every time your super is paid.

  2. Make sure the amount is correct: Avoid being underpaid by using the Federal Government’s Estimate My Super tool.

  3. Speak up: Confirm with your employer when, where, and how much super you should get paid.

  4. Report it: If your employer doesn’t take action, you can report unpaid super through the Australian Tax Office and Fair Work Ombudsman.

How AustralianSuper tackles missing super

As a fund that puts members first, AustralianSuper works with employees and employers to communicate the importance of super being paid correctly and on time. We do this by:
  • Working with unions: Members can receive guidance around payments and help tracking unpaid super.

  • Working with employers: AustralianSuper educates businesses on the tax benefits and legal penalties around payments.

  • Following up on late payments: The Fund’s arrears program monitors and contacts employers who fail to pay super correctly. Employers may then get transferred over to AustralianSuper’s credit collection agency.

It’s worth noting, that although AustralianSuper has provisions aimed at having super payments paid on time, it's still up to members to check they're being paid right.

1. Industry Super Fund – A quarter of all workers not paid $5 billion in super

2. ATO - 'Ordinary time earnings' - which are detailed here: List of payments that are ordinary time earnings | Australian Taxation Office

This may include general financial advice which doesn’t take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision consider if the information is right for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, available at or by calling 1300 300 273. A Target Market Determination (TMD) is a document that outlines the target market a product has been designed for. Find the TMDs at

AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788, Trustee of AustralianSuper ABN 65 714 394 898.

Investment returns aren’t guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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