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Aussie state where one in four unpaid $1,600 in superannuation

·2-min read
Adelaide street in Brisbane with pedestrians, Australian Parliament House.
Queensland workers have lost $5.5 billion in unpaid super over the last six years. (Sources: Getty)

More than one quarter of Queensland’s workers have unpaid super, with the average impacted worker set to lose $60,000 by retirement.

The new analysis by Industry Super Australia (ISA) found cumulative losses added up to $940 million, with the average Queensland worker owed $1,600 over the 2018-19 financial year.

By retirement, potential losses compared to those paid their full entitlements can total more than $60,000.

And over six years, total Queensland unpaid super climbs to $5.5 billion, with young and lower-income workers hardest hit.

Several electorates, including Moncrieff, Fisher, Fadden, Leichhardt, Wright, Forde and Capricornia have 30 per cent of workers with unpaid super. In Hinkler, nearly one third (32 per cent) have unpaid super.

However, workers in Rankin have the most, on average, in unpaid super, with the average worker owed $1,799.

"This is an almost $1 billion-a-year rip-off on a quarter of Queensland's workers that politicians won't fix,” ISA chief executive Bernie Dean said.

ISA said one of the best ways to address unpaid superannuation was to require that employers paid superannuation on the same day they paid wages, as it made it easier for workers to see if they had been underpaid super.

“Federal politicians have known about this solution for years but have failed to act,” ISA said.

Workers who are underpaid super are also required to chase it up through the Australian Tax Office (ATO), however the ATO only recovers around 12 per cent of underpaid super every year.

"Super is your money, it should be paid at the same time as wages,” Dean said.

“By not mandating the payment of super with wages, politicians are stopping millions getting what they are owed.

“Our federal politicians get their super paid on payday, so should all Queensland workers.”

The ISA said the Government also needed to force the ATO to name the companies that had failed to pay super and extend the Fair Entitlement Guarantee so that workers could claim their super savings if a company went bankrupt.

Currently, superannuation is not included under the guarantee.

“Most employers are doing the right thing, but they are being undercut by competitors who are getting away with daylight robbery,” Dean said.

“Paying super with wages is the only way to get workers their money and level the playing field for business.”

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