Swing­ing a su­per stick

NT News - Real Estate - - Realestate Market Place - AN­THONY KEANE

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 in­tro­duce 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 12month amnesty al­low­ing bosses to make up missed pay­ments ends in May next year.

“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 be 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 low­paid 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 The As­so­ci­a­tion of Su­per­an­nu­a­tion Funds of Australia (ASFA) 2018 con­fer­ence in Ade­laide last week. He also an­nounced a mi­nor back­flip on the plan to rat­tled the su­per­an­nu­a­tion in­dus­try.

ASFA 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.

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