The government’s superannuation guarantee amnesty bill has finally passed both houses, almost two years after it was first introduced.
The bill motivates employers to “come forward and do the right thing by their employees” by paying any unpaid super without facing serious penalties. The amnesty period will end six months from the date it receives royal assent.
Since the amnesty was announced on 24 May 2018, around 7,000 employers have come forward to voluntarily disclose historical unpaid super. According to Treasury, 7,000 more employers are estimated to come forward during the six-month amnesty period, returning $230 million of superannuation to employees.
For employers who are found to be underpaying their employees’ super, they will be subject to a minimum penalty of 100% of the SG shortfall they owe – and up to 200% in serious cases – if they fail to comply before the amnesty period ends.
According to Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology Jane Hume, if employers do not take advantage of the amnesty, they will face significantly higher penalties when they are caught.
“We encourage employers to check they don’t owe outstanding super — and if they do, to take advantage of this once-only opportunity to set things right before much tougher penalties apply.”