Money

employer super contributions atoaes new tough penalties for super cheats

Written by The ReReport



Bosses who don”™t pay their workers enough super will soon be smacked with “a bloody big stick”‌, the Federal Government has warned.Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert says fresh changes to the government’s super legislation introduces extraordinarily tough penalties for employers who don’t come clean about underpaying super.Extra powers have been given to the Australian Taxation Office to use technology to track employers who rip off workers, and a 12-month amnesty to allow bosses to make up missed payments ends in May next year.JOUSTING: The war on your super rages on MORE: Why our shares are on the noseSAVINGS: Aussies missing out on extra cashmedia_cameraASFA”™s Dr Martin Fahy says the super system cannot be allowed to fall apart. Picture: Hollie Adams/The Australian“It is theft of an employee’s future,” Mr Robert said of bosses’ failure to pay compulsory 9.5 per cent employer superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions.“There will tougher penalties for those employers who repeatedly short-change their workers.” Harsh financial penalties and prison terms loom for serious offenders.“We estimate 50,000 low-paid Australians will receive a combined $230 million,” Mr Robert said of the amnesty, which only applied to employers who confessed before the ATO caught them.“The amnesty has a carrot, and we’re now putting a bloody big stick next to it,” he told the ASFA 2018 conference in Adelaide last week.He also announced a minor backflip on the plan to scrap automatic life insurance for all super fund members aged under 25 or with low balances. The amendment means workers in dangerous occupations — such as police officers, farmers, truck drivers and concreters — will not have their cover cancelled.Compare super fundsThe government’s insurance plan had been widely criticised by the super industry as putting young workers and their families at risk and without a financial safety net.Other calls to shake up super and scrap a planned increase in SG payments to 12 per cent have rattled the superannuation industry.The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s CEO, Martin Fahy, said Australia’s $2.7 trillion super system would experience “tortuous and acrimonious” debates in the year ahead amid the fallout from the banking royal commission and other damning reports.“The reality is that we’ve got a good system,” he said. “The system we have works, and we cannot allow it to fall apart.”Dr Fahy said Australia must reject the temptation to kick the burden of aged care, health care and an ageing population down the road to future generations.“The age pension burden in this country sits resiliently at 2-3 per cent (of GDP). The burden of the UK, Germany and Greece is much higher than that, at 7, 9 and 16 per cent respectively,” he said.“Superannuation is where we take pain in the present to avoid pain in the future.”@keanemoneyOriginally published as Super cheats set to be whacked



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