Stronger laws sought for super payments

The Nick Xenophon Team wants stronger laws to help millions of Australian workers claw back billion of dollars of unpaid superannuation from dodgy employers.


NXT say there are at least 2.4 million workers who have been underpaid their super entitlements, totalling some $3.6 billion in retirement savings.

“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, that retirement rip-off is going to balloon out to $66 billion by 2024,” NXT MP Rebekha Sharkie says.

Ms Sharkie introduced a private bill into parliament on Monday aimed at assisting workers who feel they are being ripped off.

The suite of provisions includes giving employees a direct legal avenue to recover unpaid super, a more effective way of tracking whether contributions are being made and removing a loophole which allows salary-sacrifice contributions to be claimed as employer contributions.

The bill will remove an exemption that allows workers who are paid less than $450 in a month not to be paid a super contribution, while it also requires the taxation commissioner to conduct a review of employers’ compliance with their super obligations.

“All too often, the employer eventually winds up their business, and manages to avoid paying either most or the entirety of the outstanding amount of superannuation that they owe their employees,” NXT leader Nick Xenophon said.

Fellow crossbench MP Cathy McGowan backed the proposal, saying it addressed a serious problem.

She urged the government to allow the draft laws to be debated and voted on.

“Let’s do something about this,” she told parliament.