Starting out in the workplace

Are you about to start work for the first time?

Understanding the basics of pay, taxes and superannuation will help safeguard your financial wellbeing and enjoy this new experience. As a customer-owned bank, we are here to help you every step of the way.

How do I get a tax file number?

When you start a job, your employer will ask for your tax file number (TFN). Without a TFN, you will lose nearly half of your pay to tax. Apply for your TFN with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

What should I do with my pay?

You will need to supply your employer with bank account details, so they can transfer your pay straight into a nominated account.

Before starting work, you should have a flexible and easy-to-use bank account ready. If you want to put a little aside for something special or for a rainy day, consider a savings account alongside your everyday account.

Will I pay tax?

Every Australian resident pays tax on their earnings, to help support the services we all use such as healthcare, schools and transport.

Under the tax-free threshold, you won’t be taxed if you earn $18,200 or less throughout the financial year (1 July - 30 June). If you earn more, either in wages or Centrelink payments, it will be taxed. If you have more than one job or Centrelink, you will be asked to nominate on which source of income you will claim the tax-free threshold.

Around the end of the financial year, your employer will give you a payment summary, or group certificate, outlining your earnings and tax for that year. You will need to use this and other information about your earnings and expenses to submit a tax return, which might give you some cash back in your pocket.

What is superannuation?

Superannuation is a means of saving for your retirement. If you are over 18 and earn more than $450 a month, your employer legally has to pay into your super fund. Even though it can be hard to estimate how much you will need at the end of your work life, it pays to think about it early. You don’t have to choose the super fund suggested by your workplace, take the time to research your own. Learn more about the details of superannuation.

Starting out in the workplace is both rewarding and a little daunting. Seek advice and educate yourself so that you can make the most of your experience.