By Paul Schroder, AustralianSuper Group Executive, Engagement, Advocacy and Brand.
Unpaid super is again in the spotlight with a recent report revealing that an extraordinary 30% of all employees are not being paid part or all of their compulsory super.
This represents Australians missing out on $3.6 billion a year in unpaid super based on 2013/14 data. Put simply, that’s money directly owed to workers who have not had their super paid to them by their employer.
The report, released by Industry Super Australia, said that without action, it’s estimated that unpaid super and lost earnings will reach $66 billion by 2024 – an alarming figure, and one that signals the need for change.
The current situation is affecting the future financial security of 2.4 million Australian workers. Last year alone, AustralianSuper collected $25 million in unpaid super on behalf of members.
And behind all the stats is a question of fairness, making unpaid super not just a member’s problem, but one for all of us – Government and industry included.
Raising awareness of unpaid super with our 2.1 million members and the businesses we work with to help get the word out is one way we can bring our ‘members first’ philosophy to life.
One of the most concerning aspects of the findings, and perhaps not unexpected, is that it’s the most vulnerable who are missing out, including the young and low income earners across many industries.
Competitive advantage is also a major issue when it comes to businesses who are paying super, competing with businesses who are not.
A level playing field is what Australian businesses want, but that’s not achievable if some businesses are avoiding or underpaying super. By not paying, some businesses are effectively getting a competitive advantage through accessing an underpaid labour force.
Unpaid super is about fairness and transparency – values we will always stand by and support in every way possible.
AustralianSuper members who need help with unpaid super can visit australiansuper.com/UnpaidSuper They can see how much super they should be getting, access handy account tools like our mobile app to track their super, and if necessary, steps to chasing up unpaid contributions.
To view the report in full, visit the ISA website.
1 ‘Overdue:time for action on unpaid super’, ISA/CBUS Report, December 2016.