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Labor push for quarterly superannuation contributions.

Labor Push For Quarterly Superannuation Contributions

 

Kim Beazley, Leader of the Opposition, and Kelvin Thomson, Shadow Assistant Treasurer

 

Joint Media Statement - 25 March 2000

 

Labor's Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Kelvin Thomson, will introduce a private member's bill into the Parliament to require employers to pay workers' superannuation contributions quarterly.

 

Under current law, employers only have to pay superannuation for workers once a year. This often results in employees missing out on super contributions in the event of a company going bankrupt.

 

Workers at the insolvent Fabric Dyeworks factory in Mr Thomson's Wills electorate missed out, in some cases, on up to two years of superannuation payments. Workers at Braybrook and other insolvent companies have suffered the same fate.

 

Peter Reith's scheme does not replace lost superannuation entitlements, which is cold comfort to the Fabric Dyeworks workers.

 

Employees also miss out on up to a year's worth of accumulated interest they would have earned on contributions and on lapsed death and disability insurance coverage.

 

Quarterly contributions will help eliminate these problems.

 

The Superannuation Guarantee (SG) system is now well understood by employers with the Australian Taxation Office reporting improved employer compliance.

 

The introduction of the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) tax collection system will mean that employers will remit GST and other taxes every quarter. They already have to calculate SG liabilities every quarter so paying the SG contributions at the same time as PAYG remittance should not be a burden on employers.

 

Many employers currently pay monthly contributions due to industrial agreements and superannuation fund membership requirements. This bill will ensure that more employers adopt this better-practice approach.

 

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, the Investment and Financial Services Association, the ACTU, and other key industry players strongly support more frequent superannuation contributions.

 

Three Government Senators recently supported quarterly superannuation contributions in a Senate Superannuation Committee report tabled last week.

 

Labor looks forward to the Government's support for this bill in the Parliament.

 

We will be consulting with the industry about the form of the private member's bill over the coming weeks.

Authorised by Gary Gray, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.