FSC calls for super expansion
A finance lobby has called for an inquiry into the growing lack of superannuation.
In the ‘gig economy’, led by companies like Uber and Deliveroo, workers are not classed as employees and ineligible for compulsory employer-funded superannuation.
Australian employers are required by law to pay super to any employee earning over $450 a month.
But 1 million Australian workers are classed as independent contractors, not employees, making them ineligible for compulsory superannuation.
The Financial Services Council, a lobby for investment management firms and some superannuation funds, has called on the Federal Government’s Productivity Commission to look into the impacts of the gig economy on superannuation.
“For superannuation to be a successful piece of public policy, which it has been to date, it's got to be flexible enough to enable people in the gig economy to have sufficient money for retirement,” Financial Services Council chief executive officer Sally Loane said.
“We can't let people fall between the cracks.”
“From what we understand, being paid superannuation in a gig job is extremely rare.
“Largely because gig workers have been intentionally classified as ‘not employees’, so independent contractors, or entrepreneurs, or freelancers, often deliberately to avoid such responsibilities or superannuation on behalf of the organisation.”
Tim Kennedy chairs one of the oldest industry super funds in Australia, LUCRF super, and is national secretary of the National Union of Workers.
He says compulsory superannuation contributions should be extended to all workers.
“The whole idea was that we needed a universal system. It's not universal right now. Millions of workers are falling between the cracks of the superannuation system in this country,” Mr Kennedy has told the ABC.
“We need a situation where no matter how you're engaged as a worker, no matter what the employer called you, that every hour you work, for every day you work, superannuation should accrue to you.
“That's important. That must happen for it to work. If you are a worker, you should be paid super. Full stop.”
Mr Kennedy says the superannuation system could do with an overhaul, because it is failing those who need the most help to save for retirement.