Victorians miss out on $1 billion in superannuation

Laws that allow employers to pay super quarterly are short-changing workers in Victoria.

Laws that allow employers to pay super quarterly are short-changing workers in Victoria. Photo: Getty

Hundreds of thousands of Victorians are missing out on a combined $1 billion in superannuation each year.

Industry Super Australia on Wednesday analysed the latest tax data, finding 642,000 workers were not paid an average of $1617 in super in 2019-20.

That equates to $7.7b in superannuation across seven years.

“Missing out on more than $1 billion in super that they’ve earned a year is a crushing financial blow for Victoria’s workers,” Industry Super Australia chief executive Bernie Dean said in a statement.

Tradies, labourers and machine operators were more likely to miss out, with about $3.3b in super going unpaid across seven years.

Mr Dean said an outdated law allowed employers to pay super quarterly rather than on payday, leading to underpayments and exploitation of workers.

Super should be paid more frequently so workers and regulators could monitor the payments, Mr Dean said.

“Only payday super will curb underpayments,” he said.

“Aligning payment of super and wages is the right thing to do by workers, boosts government revenue, lifts investment returns and puts all employers on a level playing field.”

A 30-year-old earning the age-based median wage could be $8000 better off at retirement if they were paid super fortnightly instead of quarterly, Industry Super Australia modelling shows.

Increasing the frequency of super payments would boost retirement savings of the 4.2 billion Australian workers who were paid super quarterly, Mr Dean said.


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