Only 1% of employees currently missing out on their superannuation are being helped by the Australian Taxation Office, according to Industry Super Australia (ISA).
The super body said one-in-three workers (2.85 million people) were being “ripped off close to $6 billion in super by unscrupulous employers”.
ISA said super payments often fell through the payment crack as there was no legal requirement for super to be paid at the same time as salary payments.
While ISA welcomed an increase in compliance activity by the tax office the law needed to be changed and need to be back up by penalties that reflected the full weight of the law.
Over the past five years, the ATO had not issued a single maximum 200% penalty, according to Senate Estimates.
“To date, the ATO’s track record when it comes to handing down maximum penalties to those employers caught stealing their employees’ super has been negligible at best,” ISA said.
ISA chief executive, Bernie Dean, said: “Australians rightly expect to be paid their legal super entitlement. The fact that one-in-three workers are being robbed of their super each year in this day and age is extraordinary and must be fixed.
“Federal politicians have their super paid on pay day – it’s time that same protection was extended to all Australians,” Dean said.