Fixing the unpaid super scourge, closing the gender super gap, and protecting the foundations of our super system are part of Industry Super Australia’s policy priorities ahead of this year’s federal election.
Superannuation is an employee entitlement but because of some pretty outdated laws it isn’t treated like one: it is difficult for workers to recover what they’re owed or for unions to act on their members’ behalf.
Unpaid super comes at a significant cost to workers’ retirement savings – about $5 billion each year is not paid into workers super accounts. A 30-year old worker missing out on super in their early work years could retire with up to $60,000 less in savings.
Recovery is difficult because superannuation is not included in the National Employment Standards or the Fair Entitlements Guarantee, making it harder for workers and unions to recover what they are owed.
In most cases only the ATO can pursue employers for unpaid super meaning many workers have to spend their own time and money chasing up the ATO to make employers do the right thing. Even then, it is estimated that only 12% of unpaid super is recovered in any given year.
Fixing these problems forms a key part of ISA’s policies priorities ahead of this year’s federal election. If adopted, these policies will make the system fairer, put more money in the pockets of workers, and strengthen super’s foundation by ensuring workers financial interests are at the core of government superannuation policy.
For a full list of the things we’re fighting to deliver for workers in industry super funds, check out our pre-budget submission.
Hear more from union representative Oanh Tran from the Young Workers Legal Centre here.