Unpaid super problem getting worse

New analysis of Australian Taxation Office (ATO) data suggests the scourge of unpaid super is deepening with almost three million Australians being short-changed $5.9 billion in entitlements in 2015-16, up 220,000 employees and $300 million compared to two years earlier.

For the one in three workers affected, the average underpayment stood at $1994 or the equivalent of $77 per fortnightly pay.

The analysis by Industry Super Australia has revealed the hotspots for unpaid super in each state with workers in outer metropolitan and regional areas most at risk.

Over 45 per cent of labourers, machinery operators and drivers have collectively missed out on more than $820 million making it to their super accounts.

Part-time and casual workers earning less than $30,000 are a third more likely to miss out on super compared to full-time workers and those on higher salaries.

Industry Super chief executive Bernie Dean said it was apparent some employers are taking advantage of outdated super laws.

“It’s obvious that the rise of insecure employment is amplifying the already widespread problem of unpaid super,” Mr Dean said.

“This money should be in workers’ accounts, not on the ledger of an employer that’s taking advantage of lax laws and a cop-free environment.

“Despite new laws before the Parliament that should improve reporting of super, employers are still under no obligation to actually pay super contributions at the time they are disclosed on payslips.

“The number one policy to fix the rip offs is to require employers to pay super at the same time as wages and salary, rather than allow the money to be used for other things for up to four months.

“Most employers do the right thing and many employers already pay super fortnightly or monthly, but the time has come to make regular payment of super mandatory,” Mr Dean said.

Read the full Industry Super report.

Do you think employers should be forced to pay super at the same time as wages and salary?

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Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.
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