construction workers
Construction workers climb a new building in the Nine Elms area of London, Britain April 11, 2017. Reuters/Neil Hall

An updated report about underpaid superannuation has been handed to senate inquiry by former federal treasury director of the retirement income modelling taskforce Phil Gallagher. According to the report he submitted, more than 2.7 million workers were affected by the superannuation underpayment.

Gallagher said in the report that eligible workers in Australia were being underpaid by their employers while some have not received a payment at all. In his estimates, it showed that in 2013-2014, a total of $5.6 billion were unpaid superannuation which affected 610,000 eligible workers. The report used the two percent sample of records for 2013 to 2014 from the Australian Taxation Office. The information was matched with member contribution statements for the covered year.

The new report showed a new breakdown of unpaid super by electorates. Based on the geographical location, workers with secure jobs who worked on Sydney's north shore were more likely to receive their full contributions. However, workers with less secure jobs are at significant risk of being underpaid. The city's southwest was affected by the acute underpayment, particularly in Campbelltown, Leumeah, Glenfield and Liverpool. The data showed that workers in the inner-city electorate of Sydney were underpaid.

Based on the data, Darwin and Palmerston were significantly affected by the acute underpayment of superannuation to eligible workers. It showed that Mackay and Rockhampton were among the affected locations. It also showed that Traralgon, Morwell, Sale, Stawell and Horsham in Victoria were badly affected.

The former treasury director believed that the young and low-income workers were the most affected because the government changed the previous award base to ordinary time earnings. He said that many employers were not able to update their system because they have a lot of things to think about. As they continued to keep doing whatever they were doing, they ended up puzzled because they underpaid their employees.

Superannuation to buy a home controversy

A controversial proposal from treasurer Scott Morrison was under debate as he wanted to allow young workers to use their superannuation to buy a home. He was supported by resources minister Matt Canavan who said that workers should be allowed to invest in the most important asset of their life which he pertained it as the home.

However, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the proposal as a thoroughly bad idea. Finance minister Mathias Cormann also opposed the idea saying that it would increase demand for housing and it could drive prices up. The cabinet is still divided over the contentious proposal which is not yet approved.

Superannuation changes for individual

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