Workers with unpaid super “balloons” to almost 3 million

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Industry Super Australia has told a Senate committee that more action is needed to address unpaid superannuation, after the number of workers impacted “balloons” to almost 3 million.

An analysis of the most recent ATO data, by Industry Super Australia, finds that 2.98 million workers have been “short-changed” on their Superannuation Guarantee entitlements in 2015/16 – the most recent year for which data has been released. This is up from 2.76 million in 2014/15.

The average super underpayment is $1,995 for each worker.

Industry Super Australia public affairs director Matt Linden told the Senate, which is considering a Bill to change Super Guarantee rules, that the increase in the number of workers impacted highlighted a “big hole in the system”.

“This is an issue for people denied their retirement savings; it’s an issue for government through increased pension costs; and it’s an issue for businesses put at a competitive disadvantage,” he said.

“It has taken policy-makers far too long to get on top of it.”

The Bill before the Parliament would increase penalties for SG underpayment and extend Single Touch Payroll to small employers, but Mr Linden says it doesn’t address the scale of the problem.

“The Bill does not reflect the changing nature of work, nor does it fully harness technological improvements that have occurred since the introduction of compulsory super over a quarter of century ago,” he said.

Industry Super Australia is calling on the Government to “strengthen” the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measure No.4) Bill, saying it fails to protect young people and women working casual, temporary and contract work; retains the $450 threshold to receive Super Guarantee, leaves the frequency of SG payments at quarterly, and “lacks clarity” on Ordinary Time Earnings reporting.

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