Finance Work Government cracks down on superannuation defaulters

Government cracks down on superannuation defaulters

Kelly O'Dwyer
Revenue Minister Kelly O'Dwyer says employers deliberately not paying their workers' super are "robbing" their staff. Photo: AAP
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The federal government is cracking down on employers short changing their staff over compulsory superannuation entitlements.

An analysis by the Australian Taxation Office found employees could have missed out on $2.85 billion of their super guarantee payments during the 2014/15 financial year because employers failed to meet their obligations.

Revenue Minister Kelly O’Dwyer says employers deliberately not paying their workers’ super entitlements are “robbing” their staff of wages.

“This is illegal and won’t be tolerated,” she said in a statement on Tuesday.

The government is providing the tax office with additional funding for a superannuation task force to crack down on employer non-compliance.

It comes alongside legislation to close a legal loophole used by some “unscrupulous” employers to short-change employees who make salary-sacrifice contributions to their superannuation, Mr O’Dwyer said.

The government is also aiming to make employers make monthly contributions so the ATO can better identify non-compliance.

The package aims to simplify employer payments, while giving the ATO the ability to seek court-order penalties where employers are caught repeatedly failing in their super obligations.

The ATO analysis found the gap between the amount employers were required to pay and their actual contribution is estimated to be 5.2 per cent of the $54.78 billion of superannuation guarantee obligations.

“We encourage people to report instances of non-payment to us and we respond to every one of the approximately 20,000 reports of possible non-payment of SG from employees or former employees we receive each year,” ATO deputy commissioner James O’Halloran said.