The big super rip off

A new report from Industry Super Australia has revealed that the superannuation accounts of thousands of Australians could be down by as much as $35,000 due to underpayment by unscrupulous employers.

Industry Super Australia and industry super fund Cbus published a report earlier this year that showed employers who failed to make compulsory super payments are pocketing around $3.6 billion per year from 2.4 million employees.

This represents around $1489 per year, per worker.

Australians with underpaid super funds are short on average by almost $20,000, with people in the 60 to 64 age bracket down by over $35,000.

The report proves that many employers are deliberately short-changing their workers by “dodging their super obligations”.

“It is disturbing that compliance systems are allowing it to go unchecked year after year,” said Industry Super Public Affairs Director Matt Linden. “It leaves [the] Government short-changed on tax revenue and affected Australians with little chance of a decent retirement.”

However, the Australian Tax Office (ATO), which released its own report on the same subject, has a different take on the situation. While the ATO did not give an estimate of the shortfall, it states that it only applies to around 10,000 cases.

In 2016, the ATO received 10,759 reports from employees about unpaid super, the main culprits being from the accommodation, hospitality, construction, manufacturing and retail sectors.

The ATO also said that recovering unpaid super can be a difficult task.

“Super funds report member contributions to the ATO on an annual basis and, as a result, [the] ATO has no visibility of payment information for up to 15 months after the start of a year,” the ATO submission stated.

“This means non-compliant employers can be difficult for the ATO to identify in a timely manner.”

Read more at Industry Super Australia
Read more at The Age

Have you been ripped off? Why not inform the Government? How closely do you track your super payments?

Related articles:
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Not enough money for retirement
Is your super fund in the top 10?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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