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What is superannuation?

Learn about what super is and how it works

What is superannuation?

Learn about what super is and how it works

What is super?

Superannuation (super) is how you save money in Australia for when you get older and retire from work. Your employer has to send 10% of your pay to a super fund for you, or if you run a business in Australia, you can pay money to a super fund for yourself.

How much super should I be paid?

The law is that if you're over 18 years old (or under 18 and working more than 30 hours a week), and earn more than $450 a month, your employer has to pay 10% of your ordinary time earnings (OTE) into your super fund. This is called the superannuation guarantee (SG) contribution.

Your employer needs to pay super at least 4 times a year, so check your super account transactions or myGov regularly. If you want to have even more money in your super account – and potentially pay less tax – you can also add extra money to your super on top of what your employer pays.

Infographic describing superannuation Infographic describing superannuation

Get super smart

Find out what you need to know about your super, and check the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below.

What happens to your money

Over the course of your life, your super fund helps grow your super balance by investing the money that you or your employer puts into your account.

You can let your super fund decide how to invest your money, or choose your own investment options.

With most super accounts, you can use some of your super to pay for life insurance. This protects your finances if you can't work because of a sickness or injury.

While your super can grow over time with investment returns, your balance is also affected by fees, insurance if you have it, and tax. That's why it's important to choose the right super fund for you.

When you can access your super

Because super is there for you to spend once you stop working, your super fund looks after your money for you until you reach your access age and/or retire.

Generally:

  • If you're 65 years or older, you can get your super even if you're still working.
  • If you're aged 60-64 and not working, you can get your super.
  • If you're between your access age and 65 and still working, you may be able to access some of your super with a transition to retirement account type.

There are a few cases when you might be able to get your super early, such as medical conditions or moving to another country.

FAQs about super


There are so many ways you can grow your super. Find out more about adding money to your account, bonuses that might be available, and planning for retirement.

You can also check how much super you should have compared to other Australians your age.

As an Australian Retirement Trust member, you can access expert financial advice about your superannuation account.

If your super account hasn't received any money from your employer, you should ask your boss which super fund they are paying your super to. If you're a member with Australian Retirement Trust, you can forward your account details to your employer with our online form.

If you still don't receive any super or the payments are late, you can report it to the ATO.

Actually, you can usually choose your own super fund. If you don't choose one and you don't already have a super account, then your employer will open one for you.

If you're ready to look for your own super fund, find out why Australian Retirement Trust is a great fund.

When choosing a superannuation fund, there is no one-size-fits-all. It's best to look at both fees and investment performance, and the benefits and tools on offer to see how much better off you will be.

Find out more about how to compare super funds.

Log in to your Australian Retirement Trust account online using Member Online or our app.

If you haven't logged in before, you will need to register first.

Some employers, including the Queensland Government, may also make extra contributions to your super. You can check with your payroll office to see if this applies to you, or find out more on our QSuper website.

Great, what should I do next?

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Check your super payments

Log in to check your employer is paying your super. You can also use our contributions calculator to see how adding to your super could help.

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Provide your tax file number (TFN)

Giving your super fund your TFN can help you avoid paying extra tax and allows you to make other types of contributions.

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Do you have enough?

Find out how much super you should have compared to others your age, and find out what you can do to improve your balance.

We're with you every step of the way

Discover why our members trust Australian Retirement Trust with their retirement savings.