An analysis by Industry Super Australia (ISA) has found one in three workers, or around 2.85 million Australians, are ‘One in three workers being ripped off’ in superannuation payments by unscrupulous employers.
Although the Australian Tax Office has moved to go after employers not paying their workers super, ISA says this will barely scratch the surface of the problem with the ATO’s compliance action set to deal with less than one per cent of employees who are being short-changed.
While workers may think their super is being paid into their account because it appears on their payslip, there is currently no legal requirement for employers to pay their super at the same time as their salary is paid. In fact, super is only required to be paid into a worker’s account quarterly, making it easy for payments to fall through the cracks.
Industry Super Australia chief executive Bernie Dean says to fix the problem, the law needs to change to align the payment of super with wages.
“Australians ‘One in three workers being ripped off’ in superannuation rightly expect to be paid their legal super entitlement. The fact that one in three workers are being robbed of their super each year in this day and age is extraordinary and must be fixed,” he said.
Mr Dean said that increased compliance is welcome, but the ATO needs to enforce the law to rogue employers. According to evidence provided at Senate Estimates in April this year, the ATO has not issued a single maximum 200 per cent penalty in the past five years.
“Federal politicians have their super paid on pay day,” Mr Dean said.
“It’s time that same protection was extended to all Australians.”