Freelance or self-employed

If you’re freelance or self-employed, you’re often moving between many different projects so aren’t committed to a particular employer in the long-term. Your roles may be many and varied, and your super arrangements can change from job to job.

If you're freelance or self-employed and a member of Media Super, chances are you're a member of our personal division. This simply means that you aren't sponsored by an employer to make contributions on your behalf. You still have all the benefits of choosing Media Super as your fund, and may move in and out of our employer-sponsored division as your circumstances change.

Here we summarise some of the main arrangements you may find yourself under.

You earn income as a sole trader or small business owner

You may be eligible for a tax deduction for the contributions you make to your super. See self-employed for more information.

You earn income for contract services

You may be employed in one or many contract roles under an agency placement agreement, be hired directly under an individually negotiated employment contract or provide contract services paid to your private business by providing an ABN.

Some employers believe that all contractors are responsible for paying their own super but this is not necessarily the case. Depending of the nature of the contract, you may be eligible for super from your employer.

If you’re not sure whether you’re an Employee or a Contractor for super purposes, the ATO has an online tool to help you work out your work status.

See Contractors for more information.

Assorted short-term or low-income jobs that don’t pay super

Know your rights. Under super regulations, an employer has to make minimum Superannuation Guarantee (SG)  payments if you earn over $450 from that employer in a calendar month. It’s also possible you may be covered under an industrial award that has a specific superannuation provision.

Familiarise yourself with the superannuation regulations and if you think you should be receiving entitlements, the ATO has a process to help you investigate and claim any unpaid superannuation.

Assorted short-term jobs that pay super

Some awards and workplace agreements may include a specific super arrangement but most employees can choose which fund their employer pays their contributions into.

If you can choose your own fund but do not provide your employer with details of your fund choice, your employer will generally create an account for you with their default fund.

If you have multiple employers with different default funds, your accounts can stack up. Remember, many include insurance arrangements with varying premiums and most will have account-keeping fees.

Keep your super simple by taking your fund with you when you change roles.

Income from a variety of employment arrangements

Whether you’re receiving super from an employer or not, you can add to your super from your income.

While you may not be able to access a salary sacrifice arrangement, you can still make after-tax voluntary contributions to your account. You may even qualify for a government co-contribution or low income contribution.

Temporarily between roles

Even if you’re currently between projects or unemployed, as a member of Media Super’s personal division you still have access to all the benefits of your Media Super account, including any insurance arrangements you may have made with your fund.

As a personal division member, you can still take out Total and Permanent Disablement, Death and Income Protection cover but some additional restrictions may apply. There may also be some adjustment to your cover if you previously had insurance under an employer-sponsored arrangement.

Taking out insurance in your super is a cost-effective way to provide financial security in case of illness, accident or unforseen events.