Super FAQs

Superannuation or super, is a form of long-term savings designed to help you save for retirement.

For most people, any income from superannuation will supplement the Age Pension.

However, contributing extra to your superannuation can help set you up for a more comfortable lifestyle in retirement.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Am I eligible?

The Superannuation Guarantee (SG) legislation ensures most Australian workers receive compulsory superannuation support from their employers.

The main exceptions are those who are:

  • paid less than $450 per calendar month
  • under 18 years and working 30 hours a week or less
  • covered by a Bilateral Superannuation Agreement, or
  • employed for domestic or private work for 30 hours a week or less.

A common misconception is that contractors are not covered by the SG. If you have been engaged under a contract that is mainly for your labour, you are covered by the SG for at least the labour portion of your contract.

If you are unsure, please contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on 13 10 20.

How much should my employer pay?

The Superannuation Guarantee (SG) sets out the minimum level of support that an employer is required to contribute. The current minimum is 9.5% of your gross earnings base. Some awards and registered agreements stipulate a higher amount. Your employer is obligated to make a contribution into a complying superannuation fund at least once every quarter.

Where does my super money go?

Your super is paid to (contributed to) a super fund, which invests the money into assets such as shares, property, cash or fixed interest. Most funds, including LUCRF Super, allow you to choose where your super is invested, by offering a range of investment options. Employers will contribute your super into their default fund, unless you are eligible for choice of fund and you make a choice.

Can I choose my own superannuation fund?

From 1 July 2005 the majority of employees have been given the right to choose the superannuation fund that will receive their SG contributions. The eligible employees who are able to choose their fund was extended from 1st July 2006 to cover employees working for corporations who previously could not choose a fund because they were employed under a State Award. These employees are now covered under a Federal Workplace Agreement called a 'notional agreement preserving state awards'. If you don't want to choose a fund, your super will automatically be contributed to your employer's 'default fund'. More information about this can be found on our Choice of Fund page.

What happens if my employer has not paid my superannuation?

Your employer has up to the 28th day after the end of each quarter to make superannuation guarantee and salary sacrifice (before-tax) contributions on your behalf. For example, payments for the September quarter are due on the 28th of October. If they do not do this, they are required to pay the superannuation guarantee charge to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Once the ATO has received that payment they will then make the contribution into your account.
The only difference to this ruling is that personal member (after-tax) contributions must be paid within 28 days of the end of the month in which they were deducted from your wages. If you don't think your employer has made your SG contributions, you should contact your fund or the ATO.

How do I find my lost superannuation?

Super accounts that have been inactive for five years or where the Fund has not been able to contact you, will be deemed to be ‘lost’ super. If the account balance is less than $2,000, this lost super will be transferred to the ATO.

Even if you haven’t got any money that has been transferred to the ATO, if you have changed jobs at anytime, you may have super sitting in various super accounts that you are paying fees on.

As a LUCRF member, you can give your consent for LUCRF to search for you super using your TFN and act on your behalf to bring it all together into one account.

Once we have your consent, we will search ATO databases on your behalf.
You can provide your consent:

How are contributions taxed?

Super funds are required to deduct a 15% contribution tax from your employer's SG contributions. This also applies to amounts contributed through salary sacrifice (before-tax) contributions. If you have made an after-tax personal member contribution it has already been subject to income tax and does not attract further taxation. Contribution tax does not apply to normal transfers or rollovers between complying funds as long as they have come from a taxed source.

Please note that higher tax is applied if you have not notified your super fund of your tax file number.

How are fund earnings taxed?

Complying super funds are subject to a tax of up to 15% on investment earnings and 10% on capital gains. Super funds that invest in Australian shares are able to offset any dividend franking credits received against their overall tax liability. Because super fund earnings have already been subject to tax, you do not need to declare the earnings of the fund on your tax return.

Does LUCRF Super pay anti-detriment upon death?

Yes we do. The eligibility criteria is detailed below.

Death benefits paid from us to your spouse or children may be enhanced to include an anti-detriment payment. This additional component is intended to represent a refund of the contributions tax paid or deducted against concessional contributions that were received into your account.

An anti-detriment payment can only be made when:

  • an accumulation death benefit is paid as a lump sum, or
  • a pension is commuted to a lump sum on the death of a pensioner (or reversionary pensioner) within the prescribed period (generally the later of three months from the grant of probate/issue of letters of administration, or six months from the date of death).

An anti-detriment payment is not available when:

  • a death benefit is paid as a pension (including elections to take later commutations), or
  • a member takes a terminal illness benefit prior to death.

Note: members suffering a terminal illness will need to decide whether to receive all or a portion of their benefits before death without an anti-detriment amount, or wait and have the proceeds paid as a death benefit to beneficiaries who are eligible to receive an anti-detriment amount.

When can I access my super?

Since 1 July 1999, all contributions made into a regulated super fund and all fund earnings after 30 June 1999 are preserved until retirement, regardless of their source. These preservation rules require benefits to remain within the Australian superannuation system until you reach retirement age. Government regulations also set out a minimum age for the release of benefits, known as the preservation age. Your preservation age depends on your date of birth, see table below:

Date of birthPreservation age
Before 1/7/6055
1/7/60 – 30/6/6156
1/7/61 – 30/6/6257
1/7/62 – 30/6/6358
1/7/63 – 30/6/6459
After 30/6/6460

There are exceptional circumstances under which you may be able to apply for early release of your super. These are described on our When can you access your super page.

Can online calculators help with my super?

Online calculators can be handy but remember that, at best, they simply illustrate the possible effects of decisions you make. Keep in mind that they are not predictions of what will happen in the future.

The MoneySmart website, which has been developed by the Australian Federal Government and the Australian Securites and Investments Commission (ASIC), features a number of useful calculators, which have been provided here for your convenience.

With this in mind, any questions related to their use, the assumptions behind their calculations or other issues should be directed to the MoneySmart website.

How do Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) work?

An SMSF is a super fund with one to four members. Each member is a trustee. This means you are responsible for all legal duties, investment decisions and day-to-day administration.


Four quick facts about SMSFs

1. Tough penalties could hurt you
If you don’t comply with all the relevant SMSF laws you could be subject to substantial fines or imprisoned.

2. Relatively high costs
It costs around $2,000 to start an SMSF and $6,850 each year to run it*

3. Things can go wrong
There’s no financial assistance if loss is suffered. Any issues between members must be fought through the courts.

4. SMSFs are not suitable for everyone
Do you have the skills and expertise required, and the time to run your own fund? Because there are many risks in running an SMSF, we recommend you speak to a LUCRF Super Representative before making a decision.

*Source: superguide.com.au July 2013 and ATO’s Self-managed super funds: A statistical overview 2010-11 for funds between $200,000 and $500,000.