There is around $2.8 billion of unpaid superannuation in Australia. Now it appears that the Government is finally trying to tackle the issue. Today the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services issued a media release outlining how the Government is going to address this issue.
Legislation has been introduced providing a one off, twelve month amnesty for historical unpaid Superannuation Guarantee.
The amnesty runs for twelve months from today the 24 May 2018 to 23 May 2019. This is subject to the passage of legislation.
What will employers need to do to take advantage of the amnesty?
Check whether all your employees superannuation entitlements have been paid up to date. If not, calculate any shortfall of superannuation guarantee you have unpaid to your staff.
Employers must pay all outstanding superannuation to their employees. In addition, they will need to pay interest. However, they will avoid paying penalties that would normally be imposed.
If you are unable to pay the outstanding amounts in full then a payment plan can be organised with the Australian Taxation Office.
What happens if employers to not take advantage of the amnesty?
The media release stated that ‘employers that do not take advantage of the one-off amnesty will face higher penalties when they are subsequently caught – in general, a minimum 50 per cent on top of the SG charge they owe. In addition, throughout the amnesty period the ATO will still continue its usual enforcement activity against employers for those historical obligations they don’t own up to voluntarily.’
If you are an employee what should you do?
First, check whether your current employer or past employers have paid your superannuation entitlements.
Everyone gets a superannuation account statement at least yearly. Your statement will include the amount of contributions received, amount of insurance deducted, amount of fees deducted, the investment return and closing account balance.
Unless you have elected to receive your statements electronically they will usually be posted out to you in the mail. If you have not received any statements contact your super fund. You may need to update your contact details with them.
You can also get electronic access to your superannuation account.
Tip: Just because the super is recorded on your payslip does not mean that it was actually paid to your nominated super fund by your employer.
Second, check that you are entitled to be paid super. Your employer will need to contribute super for you if:
- 18 years old or over and are paid at least $450 (before tax) in salary or wages in a month
- under 18 years old, work more than 30 hours per week and are paid at least $450 in salary or wages (before tax) in a month.
It doesn’t matter if you work casual, part-time or full-time.
Third, if your current employer is not paying your super talk to them. They may be paying your super to another superannuation account.
Third, if past employers and/or your current employer have not paid your super you were entitled to and talking to your employer was not successful you can lodge an enquiry with the Australian Taxation Office who will then investigate.
If you have any questions or need help contact us.