media release 


9 February 2022   


HESTA calls on Government to prioritise scrapping $450 threshold to improve women's financial security in retirement


HESTA has urged Federal Parliament to progress important legislation currently languishing in the House of Representatives that would fix a loophole that sees those earning less than $450 a month from an employer miss out on super.


HESTA CEO Debby Blakey called on all sides of politics to take this opportunity to prioritise improving the financial security of some of Australia’s lowest paid casual and part-time workers.


“We have a small of window of opportunity to ensure that this basic equity measure is passed and implemented by 1 July, but Parliament must act now,” Ms Blakey said.


“This basic equity measure will make an important difference to our members who spend their entire working lives caring for others.

“Super is meant to be for all Australians, paid on every dollar earned. Ending this outdated measure will send a strong message to those working in casual or part-time positions for multiple employers that their work is valued.”

The Government had previously flagged the legislation would be dealt with by both houses of Parliament today, but the legislation has seemingly not been prioritised. The change has bipartisan support and is expected to pass, if the Government progresses the Bill.


If Parliament rises tomorrow without passing the Bill, many casual and part-time workers will continue to be unfairly excluded from the full benefits of super.


“The Government should not miss the opportunity to make a difference to the financial security in retirement for those Australians who need it most,” Ms Blakey said.


Many HESTA members working in health and community services are low-income earners, working a small number of irregular shifts for a range of employers. This means they may not meet the $450 threshold with one or more employers, further reducing their super balances at retirement.


“We know that women experience a gender super gap that results in them having more than a third less super than men,” Ms Blakey said.


“Scrapping the $450 threshold is long overdue. Parliament must not miss this opportunity to make our super system fairer for women and the lower paid.”


The Government committed in its 2021-22 Federal Budget to removing this antiquated threshold that sees around 300,000 working Australians – approximately two-thirds of whom are women – miss out on the full benefits of super.


If it does not pass before Parliament rises tomorrow, it is unclear whether the legislation will pass before a Federal Election. HESTA has been advocating for this change for many years and will continue to urge politicians to ensure it becomes law as soon as possible.




Media contact:

Sam Riley

General Manager Media Relations

(03) 8660 1684


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