Workers owed $3.6bn in super guarantee

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Workers owed $3.6bn in super guarantee. 


Workers are owed over $3.6 billion in superannuation guarantee according to the latest Australian Taxation Office estimates – a figure the Government and the regulators are looking to dramatically change.  


The net gap in SG has also declined from a peak of 5.7% in 2015-16 to 5.1% in 2020-21. The COVID-19 stimulus measures helped drive up the voluntary contributions with the largest increase in 2019-20, which the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) says they “suspect reflects the link between payment of super contributions and pay as you go (PAYG) withholding by employers. PAYG withholding is linked to the ability to claim stimulus payments such as Cash Flow Boost.”

Despite these gains, a little adds up to a lot and 5.1% equates to a $3.6 billion net gap in payments that should be in the superannuation funds of workers. Lurking within the amount owed is $1.8 billion of payments from hidden wages. That is, off-the-books cash payments, undisclosed wages, and non-payment of super where employees are misclassified as contractors.




Employers should not assume that the Government will tackle SG underpayments the same way they have in the past with compliance programs. Instead, technology and legislative change will do the work for them.

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