According to Industry Super Australia, 2.98 million Australians lost out on $5.9 billion in super entitlements between 2015–16.
This is an increase of 220,000 employees and $300 million in comparison to two years earlier.
The ISA said that while the passing of Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures No.4) Bill 2018 in the Senate signaled a step forward towards ensuring employers meet their superannuation obligations, stronger regulations are needed to ensure workers routinely receive their super entitlements.
Matt Linden, deputy chief executive of ISA, recommended changing the laws that require employers to deposit funds into their employees’ super accounts only four times a year instead of at wage time.
“Despite these new laws passing through the Senate that have potential to improve reporting of super, employers are still under no obligation to actually pay super contributions at the time they are disclosed on payslips.”
“While progress to stop the unpaid super epidemic is always welcome, anything less than stopping it at the source is just a band-aid approach.”
He says such moves are particularly important, as it is most commonly low-income workers that make up the one in three Australians affected by unpaid super.
“Young people, those in insecure work and blue-collar workers are particularly vulnerable.”
According to ISA, both workers under 30 and part-time and casual workers are a third more likely to be impacted by unpaid super than other Australians.
Labourers are also particularly hard hit, with 45 per cent losing out on more than $820 million collectively in their super accounts.
“The vast majority of good employers that do the right thing by their workers are being undercut by a handful of rogue employers that are not following the law,” Mr Linden said.
The new laws, once ratified by the House of Representatives, will improve superannuation payment transparency by extending Single Touch Payroll to small businesses.
Real-time reporting will continue to apply to larger employers.