Congratulations on landing your first job! You’ve fought off the other applicants, dazzled in your job interview, and emerged victorious.
So now what? Well, there’s a few things you need to do before starting a new job:
Well duh. You wanna get paid right? If for some reason you don’t have one yet, go to your local bank and get one sorted asap. Take your student card along and make sure you ask if there are special deals for students. Most banks will offer students fee-free accounts, and some may even offer additional benefits.
This is your personal and unique ID assigned to you by the Australian Government and is used to track your super and tax returns, among other things. Many of you may already have one set up for you during high school, but if you don't, you can register for one here. You don’t have to get one, but you’ll pay more tax if you don’t.
If you're doing any contracting or freelance work, you may need to get yourself an Australian Business Number. It's totally free, and you can apply for one here. If in doubt, ask your employer if they require you to get yourself an ABN.
Ok, this can be a bit dry, but it’s really important you look through and understand what you’re in for. Each contract will be a little different, but in particular you want to look out for:
If you earn more than $450 a month before tax, your employer must contribute to your superannuation savings, which is basically the start of your retirement savings. Your employer must contribute at least 9.5% in addition to your salary to your super (so if you were being paid $450, your payslip should show at least $42.75 going to your super fund).
Important! This is your money! Most employers will do the right thing and correctly pay your super, but there are some less honest ones who try to avoid paying your super, so it's important to check!
When you start your job, you will be asked which super fund you would like your employer to send this money to. However, if it's your first job and you don't have a super fund, this is what will happen:
Your superannuation is a really important part of your eventual retirement savings, and it becomes more important over time. To learn more about it, check out this video that explains how super works, and why you need to care about it.
If you want to learn more, you can watch the next video here, or download our free app below to get access to all our videos.
We’re not financial advisers and that’s not what we’re here to do. All information provided on this site and through our app is purely to help you better understand the basic concepts of superannuation. For financial advice that is tailored to your specific personal situation, please see your Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) or licensed financial adviser.