Labor would add superannuation to National Employment Standards

A Labor Government would make it easier for employees to pursue unpaid superannuation without depending on the ATO.

At the Labor National Conference it was announced that Labor would include superannuation in the National Employment Standards. The National Employment Standards are, currently, a set of 10 minimum worker entitlements – including maximum weekly hours and annual leave.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said this would give all employees the power to chase their unpaid super.

Jail for employers not paying Super Guarantee Bill doesn’t go far enough

A Government Bill, which may become an Act in early 2019, has been welcomed but also criticised for not doing enough about unpaid superannuation.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures No.4) Bill 2018 could result in employers going to jail for not paying Super Guarantee they owe. The Bill passed the Senate last week, but as it was amended it needs to go back to the House of Representatives. Parliament has risen for 2018, with the first sittings scheduled for February 2019. Given the amendments were moved by the Government its passage seems likely, time allowing – there are few sitting days and the Budget has been brought forward. Read more...

Jail for employers not paying super guarantee may pass Parliament today

Legislation which could result in employers who don’t pay Superannuation Guarantee being sent to jail may pass Parliament today – the last sitting day for 2018.

Update: The House of Representatives has adjourned, seemingly without voting on the amendments – so the Bill has not yet passed.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 4) Bill 2018 has passed both Houses of Parliament, but as it was amended in the Senate it will need to return to the House of Representatives. The amendments were moved by the Government and so would likely be agreed to in the House, but that depends on there being time for a vote. Read more...

12% Super Guarantee rate will “barely cut it”, says Paul Keating

Paul Keating says the 9.5% Superannuation Guarantee rate “won’t cut it” and the legislated 12% rate will “barely cut it”.

Speaking to 7.30, Keating said that when he introduced superannuation people retired “about” 65 and died around 85. But that now people were living into their late 80s and children today could expect to live to 100 or 105.

“The superannuation pool isn’t large enough to maintain the sort of standard of living we wish for them,” he said. Read more...

Jail for SG non-compliance Bill likely to pass with support of major parties

A Bill to introduce potential prison sentences for Superannuation Guarantee non-compliance appears likely to pass with the support of, at least, the Liberal and Labor parties.

The Government has a Bill before Parliament which would allow the ATO to direct an employer to make a payment of Superannuation Guarantee Charge. Failing to comply could be penalised by 12 months’ imprisonment or a fine, or both.

The Bill also extends Single Touch Payroll requirements to small employers – 19 and fewer employees – from 1 July 2019, among other changes. Read more...

Government should abandon plans to raise Super Guarantee rate

With the Federal Budget around a week away the Grattan Institute have said the Government should abandon plans to raise the Superannuation Guarantee rate.

The Grattan Institute says that if politicians really wanted to help low-income workers and fix the budget they should “act soon” and cancel the scheduled increase in the SG rate from 9.5% to 10% on 1 July 2021.

The Institute says that enterprise agreements currently being negotiated will take the legislatively scheduled increase into account. Read more...

Call for Government to confirm support for increase to SG rate

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has called for the Government to confirm a commitment to increasing the Superannuation Guarantee rate to 12%.

The Coalition delayed increases to the SG rate, so it would reach 12% from mid-2025 instead of the previously legislated mid-2019. However recent comments by senior members of the Government suggest this could be further delayed or paused.

Related: Minister argues against raising Superannuation Guarantee rate

AIST CEO Ms Eva Scheerlinck said it was “worrying” that the Government appeared to be backing away from its own legislated timetable for increases to the Super Guarantee rate. Read more...

Minister argues against raising Superannuation Guarantee rate

A Government Minister has argued against increasing the Super Guarantee rate, and suggested that the superannuation industry is calling for increases out of self-interest.

The Government appears to be building a case, ahead of the Budget in May, for wages in the present over superannuation in the future.

“It would be wrong to think that the ‘super-guarantee’ is a guarantee of someone’s present lifestyle in retirement,” said Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer at the AFR Banking and Wealth Summit. Read more...

Prison sentences for Super Guarantee non-compliance “not justifiable”

Prison sentences for failing to meet Superannuation Guarantee obligations are “not justifiable”, says the Tax Institute.

Treasury has been consulting on tougher Super Guarantee rules. The draft legislation includes a new power for the ATO – to give a direction requiring the payment of Superannuation Guarantee Charge to the tax office. Failing to comply could result in either or both 12 months’ imprisonment or 50 penalty units ($10,500 at current rates).

“In our opinion, this provision should not be introduced as the current penalty regime already provides for significant penalties,” says the Tax Institute in a submission on the draft legislation. Read more...

Government does 180-degree turn on Super Guarantee penalties

The Government has done a 180-degree turn on penalties for employers who don’t pay the required amounts of Superannuation Guarantee on time, going from winding back penalties to increasing them – including prison time.

The Government has introduced to Parliament a Bill to increase the penalties for Super Guarantee non-compliance, the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 4) Bill 2018. It was only in December that the Government officially dropped its policy of winding back some of the penalties for underpayment of Super Guarantee. Read more...