Draft legislation released today could help more than three million Australians short-changed on their superannuation but key measures to properly tackle the problem are missing, says Industry Super Australia.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Taxation and Superannuation Guarantee Integrity Measures) Bill 2018 - which contains measures to clamp down on employers who dodge paying their workers’ superannuation – opened for public consultation today.
Industry Super public affairs director, Matt Linden, welcomed the draft bill but said it missed several important policy measures.
“The extension of single touch payroll technology to all businesses regardless of size from 2019, and enhanced tax office enforcement powers are very welcome,” said Linden.
“Single touch payroll will make it much easier to monitor and identify employers who skip their superannuation obligations, rather than the current regime of self-reporting”.
But, he said, the laws needed to go further.
“In not aligning compulsory superannuation payments with regular wage cycles, these laws fall seriously short of protecting worker interests,” he said.
“A four month delay from when a super entitlement appears on a payslip to when an employer has to pay it to an employee’s fund is at odds with our digital world”.
“It is also time to reconsider the $450 per month super guarantee threshold”.
“In the gig economy with increased casual work, the meagre threshold at which employees become eligible for super has reached its use-by-date,” he said.
Last year, an Industry Super analysis of ATO data revealed almost one third (32%) of entitled workers were underpaid their super at an average of $2,025 each in 2013/14.
Submissions on the draft legislation are due 16 February.
Employers are legally required to pay 9.5 per cent of ordinary time earnings in superannuation towards every employee over the age of 18 earning more than $450 (gross) a month. This is the Super Guarantee.
Matt Linden is available for interview. Media contact John Hill 0412 197 079.
Industry Super Australia provides policy, research and advocacy on behalf of 16 not-for-profit Industry SuperFunds who are the custodians of the retirement savings of six million Australians.
Industry Super Australia Pty Ltd ABN 72 158 563 270, Corporate Authorised Representative No. 426006 of Industry Fund Services Ltd ABN 54 007 016 195 AFSL 232514