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AIST is disappointed that legislation which would see 300,000 Australians finally receive superannuation on their wages has been shunted to the back of the queue and will not pass Parliament in 2021.
The legislation, to close an ancient loophole which saw superannuation paid only to those earning more than $450 a month, is part of an Omnibus bill with other superannuation measures promised in this year’s Federal Budget.
“The passage of this Bill would make a real difference in retirement to over 300,000 low-income earners, of which 2 out of 3 are women, who would receive super on their pay for the first time. With the Federal Government saying it is committed to making super fairer for all Australians, and improving outcomes for women, I cannot understand why this non-controversial Bill, was not prioritised,” said Eva Scheerlinck, AIST CEO.
“The arbitrary $450 threshold was created in the early days of super to cut down admin for employers, but it should have gone many years ago with the advent of computer payroll systems. Now these workers are again left waiting and we call on the Government to ensure the Bill is put forward at the earliest opportunity in the New Year.”
The legislation would expand the Super Guarantee to people earning salary or wages below $450 in a calendar month from a single employer. This means low-income earners, many of whom are women, who may have two or more jobs with different employers and earn under $450 a month at each, would receive superannuation contributions on all their earnings, making the legislation an important equity measure.
It also means that there would no longer be an arbitrary gap between those earning under $450 and those earning just a couple of dollars more a month, who have been receiving super on their wages.
“The Retirement Income Review called abolishing the $450 threshold an important gender equity measure, and it is. It’s also a small step towards changing the shocking findings of the Senate in 2016 – that one in three women retire with no super at all,” Ms Scheerlinck said.
“It is extremely unfortunate that the Government has instead spent the last weeks of Parliamentary sittings on less concrete issues instead of actively helping Australian workers.”
Enquiries: Mel Birks, Head of Advocacy 0411 780 353
AIST is the peak body for the $1.6 trillion profit-to-member superannuation sector which includes industry, corporate and public-sector funds.