Seven months of doing nothing on unpaid super, despite a detailed report sitting on the minister’s desk for that entire time, has resulted in a media release from the Turnbull Government which only promises to take action on one aspect of the issue at some point later this year.
In a response that can only be described woefully inadequate the Minister’s "announcement" doesn’t go anywhere near far enough to protect workers who will continue to miss out on billions of dollars in unpaid super payments each year.
Unpaid super in a $5.6 billion problem which affects around 2.7 million workers across Australia, many of whom are on low incomes and are missing out on as much as $2000 each year which should be going into their retirement savings.
In the time that Kelly O’Dwyer could have actually done something to address this super rip-off, a Labor instigated Senate Inquiry into unpaid super made 32 recommendations, one of which was to deal with the loophole which allows employers to reduce their compulsory super contributions when employees salary sacrifice into super.
What's lacking from today's announcement is a comprehensive strategy to address unpaid super across the board including responding to the other 31 recommendations made by the Senate report released back in May.
Labor is particularly concerned by recommendation 7 of this working group report, which in its application would reduce penalties for employers who do the wrong thing and not meet their super guarantee obligations.
The Abbott/Turnbull Government tried to water down these penalties once before and it needs to immediately rule out adopting this recommendation which would make it easier for employers to do the wrong thing.
The Minister needs to get serious about unpaid super and ensure that working people get paid the superannuation they have earnt so that it can maximise their retirement savings and relieve future pressure on the aged pension.
Liberals can’t be trusted on super. Labor created super and it is something that we will always fight to protect.
FRIDAY, 14 JULY 2017
This is a joint release with Senator Chris Ketter, Chair of the Senate Economics References Committee.