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The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has today warned that providing employers with an amnesty to report unpaid super could see more workers vulnerable to super theft.
Commenting on the Morrison Government passing a law today that will waive penalties for employers who admit to not paying their workers super, AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck said the new law sent the wrong message.
“Superannuation is deferred wages and, in a compulsory super system, members must receive their full entitlements when they are due. Rather than providing an amnesty, strengthening employer penalties for failing to pay super is needed,” Ms Scheerlinck said “An amnesty creates a situation where you're rewarding bad employers and punishing good ones”.
AIST recommended that Parliament reject the Government’s Bill, arguing that an amnesty on unpaid super failed to deal with the enormity of the unpaid super problem which costs workers more than $3 billion a year.
Ms Scheerlinck said international evidence suggested amnesties failed and could even exacerbate the problem as previously honest citizens reduced their compliance in anticipation of another, future amnesty.
“Unpaid super is a billion dollar problem that amounts to theft,” Ms Scheerlinck said. “Instead of an amnesty, employers need to be prosecuted for contravening the law.”
Media enquiries: AIST Senior Media Manager, Janet de Silva 0448 000 499
AIST is the peak body for the $1.5 trillion profit-to-member superannuation sector which includes industry, corporate and public sector funds
26 February 2020