Australian Employers Under Fire to Stop Withholding Super Payments

Following the end of 2019’s final quarter, the ATO will send emails to 4,000 Australian employers thought to be withholding super payments to reminding them of their obligations. According to Industry Super Australia, as much as a third of Australian workers have not received their superannuation entitlements from shady employers.

The Australia-wide mandatory Superannuation Guarantee stipulates at least a 9.5% contribution to employees’ super funds. The universal scheme applies to all Australians over the age of 18 earning at least $450 per month.

The ATO’s crackdown on dishonest bosses has been facilitated by the introduction of Single Touch Payroll, which has allowed 500,000 employers to report payday figures for 11 million employees on a daily basis, as opposed to previous annual reporting.

Key industries to be targeted by the ATO’s focus include hospitality (cafes, restaurants and clubs), supermarkets and construction (subcontractors). To a lesser extent architectural, advertising and legal firms are also being examined. Deputy Tax Commissioner James O’Halloran cited cashflow pressures as a key factor preventing some employers from making super payments. ‘Ultimately, by not paying the superannuation guarantee, the employee misses out on money for their retirement future.’

As much as 4 to 5 per cent of Australian businesses have been insufficiently paying super for their employees. Within the last year, the ATO has recovered $805 million in unpaid superannuation from 23,000 different employers.

For an Employee

Australian workers whose retirement savings are being disrupted by suspicious practices must stay on top of their super accounts. Without paying mind to the matter, it’s impossible to be certain whether or not you are receiving your entitlements. The ATO has urged people who haven’t received their due to come forward. Identification of problem employers strengthens the patterns that the Tax Office uses to amend the situation.


Employees who have not received their complete superannuation entitlements should follow this process.

  1. Confirm your eligibility for superannuation payments; employee is 18 years old or over, earning $450 or more in a month
  2. Check the last Member Statement from your super fund – contact your fund if your employer hasn’t paid for the required period to ensure it’s not an issue on their end
  3. Directly speak to your employer to see why super hasn’t been paid
  4. If the above steps don’t resolve any issues, lodge a complaint with the ATO who will then conduct an inquiry


Ensuring you receive correct superannuation is critical to your financial future and retirement planning. Anyone with a superannuation membership should take the necessary steps to ensure that they are receiving their deserved contributions. For any questions about your entitlements, reach out to any of the experienced members of the Morrows Superannuation Consulting Team.

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