This analysis of Australian Taxation Office (ATO) data on individuals has found the unpaid super crisis did not improve in 2016-17, with 2.85 million Australians being short-changed $5.94 billion in super entitlements.

Disturbingly, the latest analysis reveals the damage it is wreaking on Australians super balances over time.

In 2016-17 there was on average, a 50 percent difference in the super balance of a person underpaid compared to a person of similar age and income who received their correct super entitlements. Across most age and income cohorts the difference adds up to tens of thousands of dollars less in their super nest eggs.

The report also shows that around 80 per cent of those underpaid receive a partial payment (making it harder for the ATO to detect and go after those employers doing the wrong thing). In just three years since the initial release of 2013-14 ATO file:

  • The number of workers short-changed super has climbed by 90,000 (up from 2.76 million) and now affects 31.3 per cent of workers
  • The amount of unpaid employer super contributions has climbed by $340 million per year (up from $5.6 billion)
  • The average gap in savings has blown out to $24,506, up from $19,709 – an increase of 25 per cent.
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