Commonwealth Bank to make good on unpaid super

Part-time CBA workers will get their super payments.

Part-time CBA workers will get their super payments. Photo: Getty

The Commonwealth Bank has agreed to repay employer superannuation to part-time workers, mostly women, denied contributions on extra hours or overtime over the past eight years.

Last week the ABC revealed the Finance Sector Union (FSU) planned to lodge a complaint to the Fair Work Commission if the bank did not repay the entitlements, after six part-time CBA employees came forward.

In a statement to the ABC a CBA spokeswoman said: “We agree these hours worked should have superannuation applied and we want to do the right thing by our people.

“If we identify an employee who is owed superannuation, we will reimburse it.”

The CBA will repay super to all part-time workers since 2009, including those who have switched to full-time positions or have since left the bank.

However, the CBA maintains is was not breaking the law by only paying superannuation on ordinary hours to part-time staff rather than extra hours or overtime.

The statement said the bank’s policy was based on a superannuation guarantee ruling issued by the Tax Office in 2009.

The bank is yet to put a number on the staff set to be repaid, although last week the FSU said it could exceed 7,000 people.

The average payment is $180 per year although in some cases the figure could be as low as $4.

While the reimbursements are tiny compared to the value of Australia’s biggest home lender, the FSU’s threats to take the complaints to Fair Work Australia could have caused further harm to the CBA’s battered reputation.

The CBA is currently in damage control amid fallout from scandals over its financial planning division and life insurance arm, CommInsure.

This week the CBA released a commissioned report from the advisory firm Deloitte claiming there were no systemic or cultural issues within CommInsure.

Key points:

  • CBA will repay super to all part-time workers since 2009
  • More than 7,000 staff are set to be repaid
  • The average payment is $180 per year

The superannuation backdown comes as Australia’s big four bank chief executives prepare for their six-month grilling by the House Economics Committee in Canberra.

Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ian Narev is scheduled to face the committee on Tuesday.

Separately, a Senate committee is investigating claims by Industry Super Australia and Cbus that around a third of Australian workers are being ripped off by rogue employers who are holding back some or all of their superannuation entitlements.

The committee is due to report by March 29. A seperate inter-departmental report ordered by Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer on the same issue has been handed to the minister who has not yet released it.

The report was the subject of controversy within the superannuation industry as none of the major players in the industry were consulted or asked to give evidence.

ABC with reporting from Rod Myer

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