Check your superannuation, there’s probably a good chance you’re being underpaid

Is your superannuation getting to you? Photo: Shutterstock
Is your superannuation getting to you? Photo: Shutterstock

Startling figures released by Industry Super Australia reveal that the more rural you are, the less likely you are to get your full superannuation.

For the first time, Industry Super Australia has calculated the entitlements owed in regional areas,.

In Ballarat, Victoria, for instance, 34.5 per cent of all people in the workforce have not received their full entitlements.

The reason being, laws only require superannuation to be paid quarterly, with many small businesses simply not calculating the correct figures.

In the region, 18,590 people have been short changed, leading to a $32.9 million gap in contributions in the last year. This translates to an average owed of $1748 per person.

Industry Super Australia chief executive officer Bernie Dean said his organisation is urging a law change to make superannuation is payable on every pay slip.

“The fix is to require employers to pay super into a workers account at the same time they pay salary,” Mr Dean said.

Industry Super Australia chief executive Bernie Dean

Industry Super Australia chief executive Bernie Dean

“At the moment, the laws are loose and unfortunately some employers are taking advantage of the loop holes and are holding back in putting the super into workers accounts.

“Right now the law states employers only are required to pay once a quarter, so for a person working a casual or seasonal job, the chances are they probably haven’t even been paid their contribution.”

Mr Dean said there was a clear correlation between bigger businesses and better payments.

“You find in metro centres such as Melbourne the figure is lower, then regional cities like Ballarat follow, then the further you go out, the more people are missing out on their entitlements all together.”

Mr Dean said employees could first check with their employers if they had concerns, failing that they can contact their super provider as many providers have access to recover lost super.

“Failing that, you can contact the Australian Taxation Office,” he said.

“But right now, the big conclusion we need to take is that it should not be up to the employee to have to check on their own entitlements, which is why we believe the law needs to be changed.”