And you thought workplace theft was a problem… every year in Australia, almost three million workers have around $6 billion worth of superannuation benefits stolen from them by their employers.
But a superannuation industry peak body has a plan to change all that – force employers to pay super contributions at the same time as they pay wages, rather than the current system of quarterly contributions.
One problem: neither of the major parties has committed to the reform in the lead-up to Saturday’s federal election, although the Labor Party has today announced a new ‘claims jurisdiction’ to tighten up the rorting, if it wins office.
But Industry Super Australia Chief Executive Bernie Dean says why Labor’s proposed reforms are welcome, they don’t go far enough.
“Anything less [than weekly or fornightly super payments]is a band-aid solution that won’t fix the problem and will see millions of Australians end up worse off at retirement,” Mr Dean said in a written statement.
“Super is meant to be guaranteed for everyone, but we’re seeing that it’s not guaranteed at all for about a third of eligible workers,” he said.
“Hardworking Australians rightly expect that the super they are legally entitled to is paid into their account. Instead, rogue employers are ripping of these workers, and because the penalties are lax and enforcement is weak, they are getting away with daylight robbery.”
Mr Dean said Labor’s proposed new claims jurisdiction wouldn’t be needed if employers were forced to make regular payments.
“If the law was changed we wouldn’t need to help workers’ get their super back because employers wouldn’t have been able to steal it in the first place,” he said.
“It’s disappointing the major parties are turning a blind eye to the fact that nearly 3 million Australians are having close to $6 billion in super entitlements stolen from them every year.
“Politicians are looked after – they have their own special law that guarantees they get paid super at the same time as they get paid their wage. But what about the rest of Australians? It’s a double standard to have one rule for politicians and another for average Australians.”
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