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FAAA in joint call for 2nd SG amnesty

Mike Taylor15 November 2023
Amnesty glasses gavel

The Government has been urged to consider another superannuation guarantee (SG) amnesty to accompany the introduction of its proposed pay day superannuation (PdS) measure in 2026.

As well, the Government is being urged to use the introduction of pay day superannuation to undertake a broader overhaul and redesign of Australia’s SG regime.

The Financial Advice Association of Australia has joined with the broader Joint Associations Working Group (JAWG) to support the introduction of pay day superannuation but, at the same time, urge another amnesty.

At the same time, the JAWG submission to Treasury argued that the earlier superannuation guarantee amnesty had been less than effective because its timing coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The JAWG said that the shift to PdS “provides a rare opportunity to address a range of actual and perceived shortcomings and deficiencies in the current system to:

  • ensure the PdS model operates to encourage employers to voluntarily rectify non-payment, underpayment or late payment of employees’ SG entitlements;
  • more equitably compensate employees’ superannuation accounts for the lost earnings on unpaid SG amounts without disproportionately punishing employers;
  • reduce compliance costs; and
  • ensure the PdS model is more consistent with other areas of taxation and superannuation legislation, and other laws.

“This will require an overhaul and re-design of existing components of the SG regime. When designing the PdS model, the Joint Bodies are of the view that the Government should consider a range of factors,” it said.

As part of its call for a further SG amnesty, the JAWG said that circumstances had led the previous amnesty lasting only six months.

“This six-month period coincided with the severe economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which left employers with a limited ability to come forward and rectify historical SG shortfalls due to difficulties accessing business records during extended lockdowns, reduced resources, constrained cash flow and access to professional advice. The amnesty period was not extended despite repeated requests by the professional bodies and industry,” the JAWG submission said.

“The Joint Bodies consider that another SG amnesty should accompany the implementation of PdS on 1 July 2026 as it would support securing employees’ entitlements. An amnesty would have multiple benefits, including encouraging employers to rectify historical SG shortfalls and minimising the need for the ATO to administer a dual system for SG shortfalls arising before and after 1 July 2026. We recognise that some employers may not have the necessary cash flow to rectify historical SG shortfalls, but for those who do, this would provide them with the opportunity to rectify shortfalls as part of the implementation of PdS.”

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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