The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O'Dwyer expects to receive an interim report on the level of superannuation guarantee (SG) non-compliance by the end of this month, with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) already claiming the issue is over-stated.
However, at the very least, the Government is expected to legislate to close off the ability of liquidating companies to avoid their SG payment obligations.
O'Dwyer said a multi-agency working group chaired by the ATO and comprising senior representatives from Treasury, the Department of Employment, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) were due to provide an interim report before the end of January.
However the ATO has already provided evidence to the Senate Economics Committee that it believes research published by Industry Super Australia (ISA) around SG non-compliance was unreliable and substantially over-stated the problem.
"We do not consider the number of people identified with an amount of SG underpayment in the ISA report to be reliable as the report uses ‘averages' to reach a specific estimate, rather than an estimate expressed within a ‘range'," the ATO submission said.
O'Dwyer said the Government took SG non-compliance "very seriously" and that she looked forward to receiving the report of the multi-agency working group.
She said the Government was also continuing its work with the ATO to protect employees from being ripped off by preventing the practice of deliberately liquidating a company to avoid paying creditors, including employee entitlements, through the Serious Financial Crimes Taskforce and the Phoenixing Taskforce.