Delays in unpaid super laws disappointing

Posted: Friday 16 November, 2018

Delays in the passage of laws which would benefit the three million Australians who miss out on their superannuation entitlements are disappointing, says Industry Super Australia.

This week, not a single one of three bills designed to address aspects of unpaid superannuation were dealt with by the Senate as flagged.

Also listed on the notice papers, but not dealt with, was a package of budget changes designed to curb balance-eroding fees and insurance premiums levied on young people and members with limited super savings. 

Industry Super Australia deputy chief executive Matt Linden said he was disappointed the bills hadn’t been dealt with.

“Combined, the unpaid super bills would enhance payment transparency, strengthen compliance and a close a loophole that allows employers to count salary sacrifice towards their SG obligations,” said Linden.

“In 2016, almost 3 million workers, often young people in construction and hospitality, were short-changed their super entitlements”.

“New laws are needed to put a stop to rogue employers robbing their workers’ retirement savings. Measures in these bills are a good start and will make a tangible difference to millions of Australians,” he said.

Linden also re-iterated Industry Super’s in-principle support for the fee, insurance and account consolidation measures announced in the 2018 budget.

“We look forward to the Protecting Your Super package progressing through parliament, with sensible amendments, before the end of the year,” he said.  

Industry funds argue that, without amendments, affordable insurance now provided automatically through super will be out of reach for young workers and self-employed in high risk industries; and could leave new mothers uninsured while on leave – which by law can be up to two years.

“We anticipate the Senate will carefully review the bills and where necessary make amendments to ensure otherwise sensible laws don’t have adverse impacts,” said Linden.

Superannuation bills still sitting in the wings, include:

  • Protecting Your Super Package - deals with fees and insurance premiums levied on inactive and low-balance accounts.
  • Member Outcomes No. 2 - closes an unpaid super salary sacrifice loophole.
  • Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No.4) Bill - boosts superannuation payment transparency by extending Single Touch Payroll to small businesses.
  • Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Superannuation Measures No.1) Bill 2018 - enhances ATO recovery powers for unpaid super and enacts a 12-month employer amnesty.

Matt Linden is available for interview. Media contact: Phil Davey 0414 867 188