90% of workers unaware of $450 threshold for Super Guarantee

New research indicates that most Australian workers are unaware of the $450 minimum monthly threshold to receive Superannuation Guarantee.

The Future of Work, a whitepaper commissioned by REST super fund, found that only 6% of casual employees knew about the $450 threshold for Super Guarantee, with another 4% thinking it was a different amount. 47% of casual workers thought they were eligible for super from the first dollar they earned.

REST CEO Damian Hill said this perception was a cause for concern.

“The lack of awareness of the superannuation guarantee threshold is particularly troubling as traditional employment methods continue to change, with an increasing number of young Australians taking up part-time, or contingent work,” he said.

“A large number of Australians appear to believe they’re being paid the superannuation guarantee in circumstances where they won’t be. This is a growing problem, particularly among young women who work multiple jobs, and earn less in each role than previously.”

It is estimated that these employees could be missing out on almost $150 million a year in super contributions due to the $450 threshold.

“Put simply, the current structure of the $450 monthly threshold is not reflective of modern work habits. An unintended consequence of this is that hundreds of thousands of contingent and part-time workers who aren’t earning more than $450 per month from a single employer aren’t paid the Superannuation Guarantee, even if they may be earning more than $450 per month cumulatively from multiple employers,” says the whitepaper.

The research also indicates that women make up 85% of part-time workers and 70% of contingent workers. A Senate committee had recommended removing the $450 threshold for Super Guarantee as one way to boost the superannuation balances of women.

“This dramatic shift in working arrangements, in which Australians are earning the equivalent of a full-time wage but from multiple sources, means that it is more important than ever that Australians have functional superannuation and insurance arrangements in place,” said Mr Hill.

“The contingent workforce is here to stay, and it’s up to us to ensure that it works for all Australians, particularly women, who account for nearly three-quarters of the contingent workforce in Australia.”

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