Almost 700 million dollar boost to Australians retirement savings

New data released by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) reveals more than $1.13 billion in super guarantee charge (SGC) liabilities were raised through superannuation guarantee (SG) disclosures and ATO compliance action during the 2022-23 financial year.

The ATO has recouped and distributed $683.8 million of super entitlements to super funds and individuals, a direct boost to Australians’ retirement savings. This includes SG amounts collected for liabilities raised arising from employee complaints, ATO initiated compliance activities and employer voluntary disclosures.

ATO Deputy Commissioner Emma Rosenzweig said while most employers are doing the right thing, the ATO takes non-compliance with SG obligations seriously.

‘Super belongs to employees for their future retirement savings and we do everything we can to ensure Australia’s hard-working employees are receiving their lawful entitlements from their employers,’ Ms Rosenzweig said.

During the 2022-23 financial year, the ATO completed around 14,000 SG audit cases and issued around 134,000 reminders and prompts. In total, these raised over $685 million in liabilities, including penalties. In addition to this, 56,000 employers came forward and voluntarily disclosed $445 million in liabilities highlighting increasing awareness and review of their own obligations.

‘Unpaid super not only affects employees’ entitlements but it also raises other red flags that a business may not be viable. If you’re an employer who is struggling to pay super, we recommend you reach out to us or your registered tax professional quickly to help avoid getting into a situation you can’t resolve,’ Ms Rosenzweig said.

‘The earlier you engage, the better the outcomes for you and your staff.’

If an employer doesn’t pay super in full, on time, and to the right fund, they’re liable for the SGC. This is more than the super they otherwise would have paid, and is not tax deductible.

The ATO is committed to helping and supporting employers to make it easier to comply with their obligations.

‘We know that mistakes can happen, but it’s our responsibility to ensure a level playing field for all businesses,’ Ms Rosenzweig said.

‘The sooner we know about unpaid super, the greater chance we have to recover it and work with the employer to get them back on track.’

Ms Rosenzweig also explained what employees can do if they believe they aren’t being paid their super.

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