3 December 2021
Parliament rises without passing important superannuation equity measure
It’s disappointing the last Parliament sitting day for the year has ended without progressing legislation that would fix a super loophole that sees those earning less than $450 a month with an individual employer miss out on super contributions.
The bill not progressing through Parliament yesterday means many casual and part-time workers will start the new year uncertain as to whether they will continue to be unfairly excluded from the full benefits of super.
Treasury’s estimates note that working Australians most likely to be missing out on super due to the $450 threshold are young, lower-income, part-time workers and almost two-thirds are women*.
Many HESTA members are low-income earners and work a small number of irregular shifts for a range of employers, meaning they may not meet the $450 threshold with one or more employer, reducing their super balances at retirement.
The Government committed in the last Budget to removing this antiquated threshold that sees around 300,000 working Australians miss out on the full benefits of super.
The legislation, which would commence on 1 July 2022, has been introduced to Parliament and is understood to have bipartisan support, but has failed to progress this year.
“This is an important equity measure for our members, many of whom are in precarious or insecure employment,” HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said.
“There are few opportunities left in this current Parliament to pass this important reform that will improve the fairness of our superannuation system.
“Ensuring this legislation, which has bipartisan support, is progressed in the next sitting of Parliament in February will send a clear message that equity and women’s economic security is a priority for the Government.
“We already know women experience a gender super gap that results in them having more than a third less super than men. This gender super gap is further exacerbated for members, many of them younger, who have also had to access their super early during the pandemic,” Ms Blakey said.
“The passage of this bill is important to helping close this super gap and support members who are needing to rebuild their super savings.”