Australians deprived thousands in unpaid super

Peter Terlato 25 January 2017

Missing money wallet old man hands

One third of workers missing almost half their payments.

Australians who were underpaid or were missing compulsory super contributions have been left with super balances almost 50% lower than those who received full contributions, new research has found.

Prior to the first Senate inquiry hearing into unpaid superannuation this week, Industry Super Australia released figures analysing the latest Australian Taxation Office (ATO) data.

The findings concluded that across all ages and salaries, Australians who were underpaid contributions had super balances $19,709 less (-47%) than correctly paid workers.

The research also revealed that underpaid intending retirees, aged 60 to 64 on salaries between $50,000 and $75,000, were missing $35,089 (-40%) in compulsory super payments.

The Senate inquiry will explore why some compliance systems allow super payments to go unchecked.

β€œIt leaves government short-changed on tax revenue and affected Australians with little chance of a decent retirement,” Industry Super public affairs director Matt Linden said.

Less super forces retirees to rely more heavily on the age pension, furthering government dependency.

Australia's Superannuation Guarantee (SG) means employers must contribute 9.5% in superannuation for every worker over 18 earning more than $450 (gross) per month.

A joint Industry Super and Cbus report released late last year found one-third of entitled Aussie workers (2.4 million) were denied super in 2013/14, representing almost $1,500 in individual missed savings.

Recent changes to Australia's superannuation and pension regulations has led to a substantial rise in the average age of intending retirees, which may have a flow-on effect for youth unemployment.

In addition, a report released last month suggests average insurance premiums through superannuation are too high for some Aussie workers, slashing hundreds of thousands of dollars off retirement balances.

If you're looking to switch funds, consolidate your super, better manage your self-employed savings or take out income protection for your nest egg, it's best to compare options and make the right decision.

Picture: Shutterstock

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