New bill to strengthen rights to super

bill right to superannuation

Employees not covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement will be given the right to legal action to claim unpaid superannuation contributions.

The federal government has introduced a bill into parliament aimed at protecting employees from either not having their mandatory superannuation contributions paid or having them underpaid and grant them a right to legal action to recover missing contributions.

The move is part of the Albanese government’s Protecting Worker Entitlements Bill and will enshrine superannuation payments in the National Employment Standards.

It is a response to the ATO figures that showed an estimated $3.4 billion of retirement savings were unpaid pertaining to the 2020 financial year.

The measure will effectively allow any worker to pursue legal action to recover any unpaid superannuation amounts if they are not entitled to this right under a modern award or enterprise agreement.

Currently, individuals whose employment is not governed by a modern award or enterprise agreement requiring their employer to make superannuation contributions can only rely on ATO action to recover lost super and receive their rightful entitlements.

“It is simply not good enough that employees are missing out on their superannuation. No employee should have their retirement incomes sabotaged by dodgy or negligent employers,” Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke said.

“This legislation will increase the number of employees who will have the right to directly pursue superannuation owed to them. Employers may also face civil penalties if they do not comply with the entitlement.”

Treasurer Jim Chalmers confirmed the government’s determination to ensure Australians receive and benefit from the retirement savings entitlements to which they are entitled.

“This is part of our broader plan to ensure the superannuation system is the best version of itself,” Chalmers said.

“Our government will do everything we can to protect super and help deliver a dignified retirement to hardworking Australians.”

Assistant Treasurer and Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones said it is important for workers across the nation to have access to superannuation.

“We created superannuation and we believe in it, that’s why the Albanese government is strengthening the superannuation system so that it is equitable, sustainable and delivers for all Australian workers,” Jones noted.

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