SG underpayment costing workers near retirement tens of thousands

Workers nearing retirement who don’t receive their full superannuation entitlements could be tens of thousands of dollars worse off, according to Industry Super Australia.

“Using the latest ATO data from 2013-14, the research found that people aged 60 to 64 on salaries ranging from $50,000 to $75,000 who weren’t correctly paid their SG that year, had overall super balances that were $35,089 or almost 40 percent less than those who were,” said ISA.

Industry Super Australia (ISA) released the research the same day as the first public hearing by the Senate inquiry into Super Guarantee non-payment.

The same data indicated that across all ages and salaries Australians who were underpaid superannuation had balances that were 47% lower, or $19,709, less than those that had received their full entitlements.

Matt Linden, Industry Super public affairs director, said this has “big implications” for consumers and policy makers.

“The disparity in super balances suggest that while unpaid SG is more likely to occur at a younger age, it persists over many years compounding with devastating later life effects,” he said.

“It’s unacceptable that some employers are deliberately dodging their super obligations but it is disturbing that compliance systems are allowing it to go unchecked year after year.”

“It leaves government short-changed on tax revenue and affected Australians with little chance of a decent retirement.”

“The lower balances also mean retirees need to rely more on the age pension. The impacts are far reaching and the processes and enforcement around unpaid SG must be strengthened.”

Research released by Industry Super Australia and Cbus last year showed that almost one-third of Australian workers were not paid their full Super Guarantee entitlements in 2013/14.

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