TIME FOR REAL ACTION ON UNPAID SUPER

Evidence provided today at the Senate Economic Legislation Committee’s public hearing clearly shows that the government’s proposed Superannuation Amnesty Bill will do nothing to address the systemic issue of non-payment or underpayment of super or support workers who have had their superannuation stolen by unscrupulous employers.

Key stakeholders have expressed their concerns that the proposed legislation is unlikely to work and may even make things worse. 

According to Industry Super Australia, nearly three million Australians experienced superannuation non-payment or underpayment in 2015-16, totalling almost $6 billion per year in unpaid super.

The government’s proposal to provide a Superannuation Guarantee (SG) amnesty for employers who have not paid their required super contributions over the past 26 years is expected to recover just $230 million – less than 3% of just one year’s unpaid superannuation.

The amnesty will not address non-compliance issues from companies who have historically stolen workers’ wages, and it has the potential to weaken initiatives already in place to improve SG compliance. 

Theft of superannuation should be punished not rewarded. Labor created our world-class superannuation system and we will always fight to protect it. 
 
Quotes attributable Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones:
“Today’s hearing yet again highlights that the amnesty has not been recommended by any and report or review.”
“Businesses who do the wrong thing and steal from workers should pay the price for their misconduct, not get rewarded with a tax break.”
“It is clear that under the current Government the ATO do not have an effective plan to tackle the substantial problem of unpaid super.”

Quotes attributed to Senator Jenny McAllister, Shadow Cabinet Secretary:
“Workers suffer real hardship in retirement due to unpaid superannuation. Women in particular are often employed on a casual or part time basis in industries such as cleaning, hospitality, retail and healthcare. These industries and their employees, the majority of whom are women are the most at risk of not being paid super” 
“For many women the superannuation guarantee is their only source of superannuation savings. Non-payment leaves women facing insecurity in retirement and at greater risk of poverty, housing stress and homelessness.”