Senate sets up Super Guarantee non-payment inquiry

A Senate committee will be conducting an inquiry into the impact of non-payment of Superannuation Guarantee (SG).

The Senate Economics References Committee will conduct the inquiry, which is due to report by 22 March 2017, following the passage of a motion by Labor Senator Katy Gallagher.

The inquiry will consider the economic impact of SG non-payment on workers, employers and government revenue.

Also included in the terms of reference are the accuracy and adequacy of the information collected by the regulators and the role, effectiveness and responses by the ATO.

Professionals will also be within the scope of the inquiry, with the appropriateness of responses by “accountants, auditors, creditors and financial institutions who become aware of SG non-payment” to be considered.

Industry Super Australia (ISA) is encouraging workers who’ve missed out on superannuation to share their experiences with the inquiry.

“Dodging superannuation obligations is insidious and widespread, and the impacts – on retirement incomes, business competitiveness and government revenues – are far reaching,” said ISA Chief Executive, David Whiteley.

“It’s something employees may be reluctant to speak up about for fear of rocking the boat,” he said.

“If you haven’t been paid your super entitlements, a written submission to this inquiry is a safe place to not only share your story but also help fix the system.”

Submissions to the inquiry close on 17 February 2017. The inquiry is due to report by 22 March 2017.

The full terms or reference of the inquiry are:

  1. the economic impact on:
    1. workers, their superannuation balances, and retirement incomes,
    2. competitive neutrality among employers, and
    3. government revenue, including forgone superannuation contributions, earnings taxes, and SG charge penalties, over both the forward estimates and the medium term;
  2. the accuracy and adequacy of:
    1. information and data collected by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on SG non-payment,
    2. information and data collected by other agencies, such as the Fair Work Ombudsman, on SG non-payment, and
    3. any legislative, privacy, or other reporting barriers preventing the collection of accurate information and data on SG non-payment;
  3. the role and effectiveness of:
    1. the ATO monitoring, investigations, and recovery of unpaid SG, including technology and data collection to predict and prevent non-payment,
    2. resources and coordination between government agencies and other stakeholders to prevent non-payment,
    3. legislation and penalties to ensure timely and fair payment of SG,
    4. superannuation funds in detecting and recovering unpaid SG,
    5. employment and contracting arrangements, including remedies to recoup SG in the event of company insolvency and collapse, including last resort employee entitlement schemes, and
    6. measures to improve compliance with the payment of SG;
  4. the appropriateness of responses by:
    1. the ATO receiving complaints and ‘tip-offs’ about SG non-payment,
    2. members of Parliament asked to assist and support constituents who have been impacted by SG non-payment, and
    3. accountants, auditors, creditors and financial institutions who become aware of SG non-payment; and
  5. any other related matters.

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