Member for Mayo launches ‘Super Sleuth’ campaign
Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has launched a new campaign to help local workers fight for lost retirement savings.
Dubbed ‘Super Sleuth’, the campaign aims to collate the stories of employees ripped off by unpaid superannuation payments and put pressure on the Federal Government to adopt tougher laws proposed by the Nick Xenophon Team.
Workers can take part by visiting Rebekha’s website at rebekhasharkie.com.au/super.
All information will be treated as strictly confidential.
“In Mayo last year, 12,896 workers were underpaid superannuation, missing out on an average $1748 per person per year. That is almost one-third of all workers in our region who have been underpaid!” Rebekha said.
“I have introduced legislation into Parliament to give employees more power to pursue unpaid superannuation contributions and get earlier warnings when employers fail to pay.
“Under current laws, employees with unpaid superannuation have to lobby the Australian Taxation Office to recover the funds on their behalf.
This has proven to be hugely ineffective. If we don’t do something to make it easier for workers to find out that they haven’t been paid their full entitlements, and give them more power to stand up for their rights, this is just going to get worse.”
Rebekha introduced NXT's Fair Work Amendment (Recovering Unpaid Superannuation) Bill 2017 as a Private Members Bill back in September this year.
Industry Super Australia, Cbus and the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees all welcomed the Bill’s intent to align employees’ super entitlements with wage payment regulations.
NXT’s Fair Work Amendment (Recovering Unpaid Superannuation) Bill 2017 seeks to strengthen the operation of Australia’s superannuation system through a number of provisions by:
- Including superannuation contributions within the National Employment Standards. This would give the Fair Work Ombudsman the authority to pursue recovery of unpaid employer superannuation contributions. Employees would also have a direct legal avenue to recover unpaid superannuation;
- Enabling employees to more effectively track if and when superannuation contributions are made to them by their employers, by requiring employers to provide notice of when contributions are made (or not paid) for each pay period;
- Removing the loophole which currently allows employers to potentially claim employee contributions made via salary-sacrifice as employer contributions;
- Removing the exemption that currently exists for employers that allows them to not to make superannuation contributions to employees who are paid less than $450 in wages in a calendar month;
- Requiring the Commissioner for Taxation to conduct a review of employers’ compliance with their superannuation payment obligations;
- Creating a duty for trustees of superannuation entities to take reasonable steps to notify their members (within 28 days and by any means) when it could reasonably have expected their member to have received a contribution from an employer, but they did not;
- Expanding the information that superannuation providers are required to provide to the Commissioner for Taxation in their annual Member Information Statements to better inform Government policy;
- Removing restrictions for employees on their choice of Super Fund.
According to Industry Super Australia, Cbus there are at least 2.4 million workers in Australia who have been underpaid their super entitlements by about $3.6 billion.
That figure is expected balloon out to $66 billion by 2024.