First job: There’s plenty to con­sider

Su­per­an­nu­a­tion and le­gal rights big is­sues for first-time work­ers

The Gympie Times - - CAREERS - Me­lanie Burgess

ONCE the ex­cite­ment of land­ing a first job has set­tled, it is time for young peo­ple to think about the prac­ti­cal­i­ties of be­ing em­ployed. Job­seek­ers en­ter­ing the work­force in 2018 are urged to put se­ri­ous thought into their fi­nances and un­der­stand their rights.

What counts as work?

The Fair Work Om­buds­man stip­u­lates work­ers are paid for all hours of work, in­clud­ing at­tend­ing team and in­di­vid­ual meet­ings at the em­ployer’s re­quest, the time spent open­ing and clos­ing the busi­ness, at­tend­ing train­ing ses­sions, trav­el­ling dur­ing work hours for tasks which are associated with em­ploy­ment, and go­ing to com­pul­sory work func­tions.

Visit fair­ or phone 13 13 94 for more in­for­ma­tion about en­ti­tle­ments.

Why worry about su­per­an­nu­a­tion?

An em­ployer must pay

9.5 per cent of the value of a worker’s or­di­nary time earn­ings (this does not in­clude over­time) into their su­per­an­nu­a­tion fund, if they are earn­ing more than $450 in a cal­en­dar month.

If the worker is younger than 18, they must also be work­ing more than 30 hours a week.

As work­ers can­not ac­cess their su­per un­til they are aged at least 60, young work­ers of­ten do not give it a sec­ond thought, but smart de­ci­sions in their early work years can make a big dif­fer­ence to their fi­nal bal­ance.

The av­er­age 18-year-old with a QSu­per fund has $1200 in su­per­an­nu­a­tion.

QSu­per head of cus­tomers and mar­ket­ing Tim Cochrane says it is a lot of money for a young per­son and it adds up markedly over their work­ing life through com­pound in­ter­est.

He says young peo­ple are work­ing more hours and earn­ing more money than they have his­tor­i­cally.

“It’s in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant that any­body earn­ing su­per un­der­stands how it works, what it en­ti­tles them to and the different el­e­ments of su­per­an­nu­a­tion – things like un­der­stand­ing that hav­ing mul­ti­ple ac­counts and pay­ing mul­ti­ple fees can re­duce value,” he says.

“They need to un­der­stand what it means for in­surance, the in­vest­ment op­tions they are in and the fees they are pay­ing.”

Young work­ers who have had mul­ti­ple jobs may have

sev­eral su­per­an­nu­a­tion ac­counts, if em­ploy­ers open a new one for them.

When this is the case, con­sol­i­date the bal­ance into a sin­gle fund to avoid pay­ing more than one set of fees.

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