Inquiry terms of reference
On 1 December 2016, the Senate referred an inquiry to the Senate
Economics References Committee (the committee) into the impact of non-payment
of the Superannuation Guarantee (SG).
The terms of reference for the inquiry were:
- the economic impact on:
- workers, their superannuation balances, and retirement incomes,
- competitive neutrality among employers, and
- government revenue, including forgone superannuation contributions, earnings
taxes, and SG charge penalties, over both the forward estimates and the medium
- the accuracy and adequacy
- information and data collected by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and
Investments Commission on SG non-payment,
- information and data collected by other agencies, such as the Fair Work
Ombudsman, on SG non-payment, and
- any legislative, privacy, or other reporting barriers preventing the collection
of accurate information and data on SG non-payment;
- the role and effectiveness
- the ATO monitoring, investigations, and recovery of unpaid SG, including
technology and data collection to predict and prevent non-payment,
- resources and coordination between government agencies and other stakeholders
to prevent non-payment,
- legislation and penalties to ensure timely and fair payment of SG,
- superannuation funds in detecting and recovering unpaid SG,
- employment and contracting arrangements, including remedies to recoup SG in the
event of company insolvency and collapse, including last resort employee
entitlement schemes, and
- measures to improve compliance with the payment of SG;
- the appropriateness of
- the ATO receiving complaints and ‘tip-offs’ about SG non-payment,
- members of Parliament asked to assist and support constituents who have been
impacted by SG non-payment, and
- accountants, auditors, creditors and financial institutions who become aware of
SG non-payment; and
- any other related matters.
Conduct of the inquiry
The inquiry was publicised on the committee's website.
The committee also wrote to key stakeholder groups and organisations to invite
The committee received 72 submissions which are listed at Appendix 1.
The committee held three public hearings:
25 January 2017 in Melbourne;
3 March 2017 in Canberra; and
14 March 2017 in Melbourne.
The witness lists for these hearings are available at Appendix 2.
Structure of the report
During the course of the inquiry, the committee identified a wide range
of matters related to the non-payment of SG.
Chapter 2 provides background information on the operation of the SG
system. It notes the previous reviews into the system and briefly canvasses the
remit of the government's multi-agency working group on SG non-compliance.
Chapter 3 examines the extent of SG non-payment in Australia. It also
considers the challenges impeding the calculation of an accurate SG gap by the
Chapter 4 provides an in-depth examination of the impacts of SG non‑payment.
It considers the impact of SG non-payment at three levels; that of the
individual employee, business, and government.
Chapter 5 analyses the causes of SG non-payment. Based on the evidence
received during the inquiry, the chapter identifies factors that contribute to
SG non-payment and recommends solutions to mitigate the impacts of these
Chapter 6 examines matters relating to efforts to address SG non-compliance.
It seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the ATO's work in the area and
considers the role of third parties in identifying and recovering unpaid SG. It
also canvasses the division of responsibilities between the ATO and the Fair
Work Ombudsman in regard to SG compliance. Finally, the chapter turns its
attention to a number of SG matters arising from employer insolvency.
Chapter 7 considers the accessibility and timeliness of SG data, with a
focus on the current information sharing arrangements between government
agencies. The chapter also discusses potential remedies for SG non-payment,
including the Single Touch Payroll initiative and improved payslip reporting.
The committee thanks those individuals and organisations who contributed
to the inquiry by preparing written submissions and giving evidence at public
Notes on references
References in this report to the Hansard for the public hearings are to
the Proof Hansard. Please note that page numbers may vary between the proof and
Navigation: Previous Page | Contents | Next Page