The Parliament has passed legislation to implement a one-off amnesty for employers to pay any unpaid superannuation in full without the usual penalties.
In an announcement, Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, Jane Hume, said the Treasury Laws Amendment (Recovering Unpaid Superannuation) Bill 2019 incentivises employers to come forward and do the “right thing by their employees”.
“We anticipate at least $160 million of super will be paid to Australian workers who would otherwise miss out,” Hume said.
Hume noted since the one-off amnesty was announced in 2018, over 7,000 employers had voluntarily disclosed historical unpaid super.
“We estimate an additional 7,000 employers will come forward in the next six months before the amnesty ends,” she said.
To use the amnesty, employers must pay all that is owing to their employees, including the high rate of interest but will not be hit with the penalties usually associated with late payment.
If they did not take advantage of the amnesty, if caught employers would pay a minimum 100% penalty on top of the superannuation guarantee shortfall they owed, and up to 200% for the most serious cases.
Throughout the amnesty period the Australian Taxation Office would still continue its audit and enforcement activity against employers for historical obligations they did not own up to voluntarily.
The amnesty would expire six months after the day the bill received Royal Assent.
“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,” Hume said.