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Annual unpaid super bill costs Victorian workers $1.2bn

4 minute read

Over 760,000 workers in Victoria are among the millions of Australians who have been affected by unpaid super.

Industry Super Australia (ISA) has drawn attention to the impacts of unpaid super for Victorian workers who lost a total of $1.22 billion due to the issue during the 2018-19 financial year.

More than 760,000 workers, or nearly a third of the state’s workforce, were impacted in 2018-19 with an average loss of $1,606 each according to ISA.

“This is a $1.2 billion a year rip-off affecting nearly a third of Victoria’s workers, yet many of them remain unaware, assuming super is being paid because it appears on their payslip,” said ISA CEO Bernie Dean.


Between 2013-14 and 2018-19, unpaid super in the state totalled $6.7 billion with workers potentially set to retire with up to $60,000 less.

“Super is your money, you should get it paid at the same time you get your wages. By not mandating the payment of super with wages, politicians are stopping Victorian workers getting what they are owed,” said Mr Dean.

“Our federal politicians get their super paid on payday, so should all Victorian workers.”

ISA said that more than two-thirds of Australian workers were not aware that super can legally be paid four times a year rather than alongside their wages.

“The outdated laws and the lack of awareness amongst workers is being exploited by some unscrupulous employers to not pay super,” it said.

If employers are forced to pay super at the same time as wages, ISA suggested that workers would be able to more easily track their super payments and notice underpayments which would make recovery of unpaid super more likely.

ISA noted that workers generally rely on the Australian Tax Office to recover their super at present, however, the ATO is only able to recover 12 per cent of unpaid super each year.

Workers in the federal electorate of Melbourne had the most unpaid super collectively in 2018-19 with a loss of $41.5 million for the 23,800 individuals affected.

Meanwhile, the electorate of Lalor had the highest proportion of workers affected by unpaid super with 34 per cent of the 27,850 individuals in the electorate losing out on $36 million.

ISA previously highlighted the annual $940 million in losses for workers in Queensland and $283 million in losses for workers in South Australia due to unpaid super.

Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.