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Super tips for gig economy workers

The 'gig economy' is an umbrella term for work taken on when you offer a service 'on demand' with no expectation of ongoing employment and no obligation on behalf of the third party through whom you're providing the service to give you benefits such as sick pay, holiday pay, severance or super. Accessing these gig jobs is usually reliant on signing up to an app which is used by the general public to request a specific service - such as a rideshare or food delivery.

Below are 7 things to think about when you choose to make your own super payments.

Tip 1: Check your fund covers Dangerous Occupations

Most super funds include insurance cover for members: But they may not cover occupations considered ‘hazardous’ for insurance purposes. This means that if you work in transport you may not find out until it’s too late that you’ve been paying for insurance you can’t use. At TWUSUPER we have no occupational exclusions - which means we cover all transport jobs.

Tip 2: Industry super funds like TWUSUPER welcome gig workers

As the industry super fund for transport and on demand delivery workers we've got the experience and expertise to help you with your superannuation. We're proud to look after people in transport and to throw our support behind the industry and all who work in it. 

As a member of an industry super fund, you can be confident we are run only for members. TWUSUPER is aligned with the needs and interests of transport workers – from the investment options we offer, through to tailored insurance cover. Joining us is easy - you can complete your registration online in minutes. 

Join TWUSUPER online

Tip 3: Know how the ATO classifies your work

Currently, gig workers in Australia are mainly classed as self-employed by the ATO if they're paid 'per job' and are not part of a company's payroll. This may change in the future (as it is starting to elsewhere) - but for now, the ATO will generally class the income you make from these jobs as coming from self-employment as a sole trader*.

What does this mean in terms of super? It means you wouldn’t have to pay yourself the Super Guarantee (SG) that you would if you were set up as a company. But there are many reasons why you might consider making voluntary payments to your super as you shall see below.

* Note that none of the above is legal advice and if necessary you should obtain your own legal advice on matters such as the correct classification of employment arrangements for superannuation purposes.

Tip 4: Think about your future self

Have you ever thought about what you want to do when you finish working? Maybe it’s travel, spending more time with your family and friends, or something else. Super is money that’s put aside while you’re working and it’s the key to your future.

Even if gig work is just a stop gap before moving into salaried employment, making voluntary contributions in the meantime could make a big difference to your retirement outcome.

Tip 5: Look into tax-deductible contributions

As a self-employed worker you have the option of making payments to your super as and when they suit you. You may prefer to make payments little and often or as a lump sum less frequently.

You can contribute up to $27,500 per year in ‘concessional payments’ to your super each financial year. Payments are concessional in one of two ways:

  1. Contribution received from before-tax income (this includes employer contribution and salary sacrifice – payments not usually available to gig workers)
  2. Contribution received from after-tax income and then a tax deduction is applied for. This would mean you're contributing to your super from your bank account after you’ve been paid. 

An after-tax super contribution includes any payment you make from your take-home pay. It doesn't include employer super payments or payments made by salary sacrifice.

Go to our dedicated Claiming a tax deduction page to find out if you're eligible and what steps you need to take to claim with the ATO.

Tip 6: See if you qualify for the Government Co-contribution

If you earn under $58,445 in the financial year ended 30 June 2024, the Government can chip in up to $500 to help boost your super when you make a voluntary non-concessional (after-tax) contribution to your TWUSUPER account. This is known as the Super Co-contribution Scheme. Note that if you register for a tax deduction for contributions you can't also receive the Government Co-contribution. To find out more about eligibility see Government Co-contribution.

Tip 7: Find and combine all your super

By putting your super in one place, you can ensure that you keep track of all your retirement money and don't pay duplicate fees. TWUSUPER members can combine their super through Member Online or by calling 1800 222 071 between 8am and 8pm (AEST/AEDT) weekdays.