Published: 10/02/2022
Category: On The Job
Published: 10/02/2022
Category: On The Job

There are not many things that have become cheaper under the Morrison government, but talk is certainly one of them.

This week during which he has delivered an official apology to victims of sexual violence in parliament, Scott Morrison has another opportunity to show his words aren’t just hollow rhetoric.

Now is the moment for him to support the removal of the $450 threshold for employer superannuation contributions.

The current arrangements are crucial for hundreds of thousands of working women who work part-time and in multiple, interchanging, and casual jobs that mean they see very little super paid into their accounts.

The current threshold denies low-paid working women $59 million in super contributions every year – with 200 000 women receiving no super at all.

True to form, Scott Morrison has been all talk so far.

In the 2021 budget, the government announced it would move to scrap the threshold but is yet to act.

Parliamentary sitting days are running out for the government to take this simple but effective step in addressing the ongoing gender gap in the superannuation system that sees women retire with half the superannuation of men.

ACTU president Michele O’Neil

ACTU president Michele O’Neil has no doubt that the end of the current threshold arrangements should not be delayed any further.

“The removal of the threshold is a critical step in closing the gender gap in superannuation, and one which has been promised and re-promised by this government for almost 12 months,” she said.

“The time for action is well overdue.”

Funds across the Industry Super sector have supported the call to lift the threshold.

HESTA is the largest superannuation fund dedicated to Australia’s health and community services sector. It is perfectly placed to comment on the issue of the “super-gap”, particularly in highly feminised workforces such as health and the care sector.

HESTA CEO Deb Blakey has called on all sides of politics to prioritise the removal of the threshold as soon as possible.

“We have a small of window of opportunity to ensure that this basic equity measure is passed and implemented by 1 July, but Parliament must act now,” she said.

“This basic equity measure will make an important difference to our members who spend their entire working lives caring for others.”

“Super is meant to be for all Australians and paid on every dollar earned.

Ending this outdated measure will send a strong message to those working in casual or part-time positions for multiple employers that their work is valued,” Blakey said.

REST Super has many members from the retail sector which also has a predominantly female workforce.

Chief Executive Vicki Doyle has seen first-hand how the current arrangements have long term consequences for far too many women.

“It is one of many factors that lead to women retiring with far less than men,” she said.

“Removing the threshold is an important contribution to improving women’s financial security.”

“We hope that Parliament will pass this legislation this week, and that further measures to improve women’s retirement outcomes, such as including superannuation contributions as part of the Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay schemes, will be announced in the upcoming 2022-23 Federal Budget,” Doyle said.

Michele O’Neil knows that Unions and working women have had to fight tooth and nail for every change to improve the situation for women at work.

This fight is just one of many that must be won, and it’s a fight that needs to happen now.

“Women lose money every day that this barrier stays in place,” she said.

“This is an overdue and important reform but much more is needed to ensure that the superannuation system provides a comfortable retirement for all Australian workers.”

Now’s the time for the Super threshold to go

Now’s the time for the Super threshold to go