Unpaid super costing workers thousands

(Australian Associated Press)


Australian workers approaching retirement who’ve been denied compulsory superannuation entitlements are being short-changed tens of thousands of dollars, new figures reveal.

The research into unpaid guaranteed superannuation, undertaken by Industry Super Australia using ATO data from 2013-14, has been released ahead of a Senate inquiry hearing into the issue in Melbourne.

People aged in their early 60s and earning between $50,000 and $75,000 who weren’t correctly paid their super had nest eggs almost 40 per cent or $35,000 smaller than those who were, according to the report.

Across all ages and salaries, Australians underpaid their super had balances almost $20,000 or 47 per cent lower than those who were properly paid.

Young workers were most likely to be stung by unpaid guaranteed super but the problem could persist for years, Industry Super public affairs director Matt Linden 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,” Mr Linden said.

“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 (superannuation guarantee) must be strengthened.”

Employers are required to contribute 9.5 per cent in superannuation towards workers aged over 18 and earning more than $450 a month.

However, a report released by Industry Super and Cbus late last year found 2.4 million – or one third of entitled workers – were denied their superannuation guarantee in 2013-14.

A Senate committee investigating the non-payment of compulsory super will hold its first hearing in Melbourne on Wednesday and is due to report in March.


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