Australian workers are missing out on an estimated $2.6 billion a year, a recent released study has found.
And that’s because employers are either not paying or underpaying the 9.5% Superannuation Guarantee.
According to the Australian Financial Review, a report prepared by Tria Investment Partners for construction industry superannuation fund Cbus found that 6.8% of the workforce was being short-changed by employers.
It also found that non-compliance with superannuation obligations was growing by 5% a year. That would create a total shortfall of $44 billion by 2023 if the trend continues.
Cbus attracted the attention of the Abbott-inspired Trade Union Royal Commission late last year over allegations it made private membership information available to the main construction industry union, the CFMEU.
It was said that the aim was to help the CFMEU enforce compliance in the industry by identifying non-paying employers.
Whatever the findings in relation to this particular matter, it is clear that unions are the only ones currently taking the problem seriously.
In fact, the federal government has moved in the opposite direction, proposing legislation that will reduce the size of penalties for non-compliant employers.
Cbus says there should be more pressure on employers to do the right thing, not less, and that the Australian Tax Office should be better resourced to pursue rogue companies. Cbus also suggests employers should be required by law to pay the super guarantee at the same time as they pay wages.
As the AFR says, “It’s a no-brainer.”