Are we getting paid the right superannuation?

YOUR SAY: EVERYONE who is employed knows the word superannuation and that it represents life after work. But is everyone actually getting paid what they are supposed to?

There was legislation introduced in 1992 which discussed the Superannuation Guarantee. This scheme spelled out exactly what the requirements are for each employer and what each employee is entitled to. The current rate of 9.5% is supposedly paid into the employee's superannuation fund on a quarterly basis, growing all the time and building a healthy nest egg for the individual to be able to retire on.

But what if the employer doesn't make any payments? Research by Industry Super Australia and Cbus towards the end of 2016, found employers dodging superannuation payments are pocketing $3.6 billion per year from 2.4 million workers. These employers are effectively robbing the average employee of potential interest and even a chance at living a comfortable life at retirement age. And the penalty for not paying superannuation? Nothing more than a slap on the wrist and a small fine for the employer.

The ATO employs 150 staff to investigate about 20,000 complaints about superannuation every year. In the past financial year, the team raised $670m in Superannuation Guarantee payments (including penalties) from a range of ATO compliance review and audit activities. But is this good enough?

Every year, there are still about 20,000 non-compliances, meaning that the penalties are obviously not stiff enough to deter this practice. Instead the ATO should be a little more forceful and hand down bigger penalties to businesses that think that they can flaunt the rules. Additionally, they should also look as escalating the penalties.

What good is the Superannuation Guarantee to the employees if there is continual doubt as to whether you will actually receive a superannuation payment or not? Is it actually worth anything?


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