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Wednesday, 9 February 2005
Page: 157

Senator Brown asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice, on 18 November 2004:

With reference to the Australian Taxation Office and the non-payment of superannuation contributions by small businesses:

(1)   Why do employees have to wait until the October after the end of each financial year to find out whether or not their employer has made superannuation contributions.

(2)   Why can employees not opt to have their employer pay superannuation contributions monthly or quarterly, as this would give them the opportunity to take action in the case of non-payment before the bill becomes too large.

Senator Coonan (Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts) —As the question deals with matters administered by the Australian Taxation Office, I have asked the Commissioner of Taxation for advice. The advice in relation to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

(1)   From 1 July 2003 employers have been required to report to their employees the amount of superannuation contributions made on their behalf within 30 days of the final contribution being made for all employees for that quarter. It is proposed to remove this reporting obligation from employers from 1 July 2005 as many employers report more frequently by including information pertaining to superannuation contributions on payslip advices.

The obligation to include superannuation information on pay slips is contained throughout various Australian workplace legislation as well as State and Federal awards. As a result of the widespread requirements to report superannuation contributions on payslips, combined with the requirement for superannuation funds to report at least annually to their members on both employer and member contributions, it is unnecessary for employers to provide additional reporting.

(2)   From 1 July 2003, employers have been required to make at least quarterly superannuation contributions on behalf of their employees to a complying superannuation fund or retirement savings account. This obligation on employers is a minimum standard only.  Employers are able to provide more frequent superannuation contributions on behalf of their employees. Additional employers may have to contribute superannuation on behalf of their employees on a more regular basis depending on the terms and conditions of a relevant industrial award or agreement.