Paying Superannunation is the equivalent of a savings scheme or pension plan for Australian citizens. It is compulsory to pay and when you are working in Australia and if earning over $450 in a month, your employer is legally required to contribute 9 – 9.5% of your earnings into a Superannuation fund of your choice. This is the same for backpackers on working holiday visas and all other visa holders so it is good to be aware of it.
There are a number of different Super funds available to you and your employer will help you pick the most suitable option based on the type of industry and work that you are doing. You can switch your Super contribution to a different fund at anytime – although this is generally not necessary.
As a backpacker, you are entitled to claim your Superannuation refund, and get the majority of your contribution back on departure from Australia. In order to qualify for a refund, you must be leaving Australia, and not returning for at least 12 weeks.
There are companies in Australia that can help you apply for your Super Refund. It can be quite a painful process to claim Super back from overseas so make sure you get the process started before you leave Australia. You are eligible to claim your Superannuation back as soon as you have departed Australia. Your current visa needs to have expired. The payment that you will receive is called a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP). If you are interested in working in Australia during your gap year then have a look at the options that Oyster have to offer.