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Super pressure finally placed on super funds to get their admin act together

COSBOA notes the announcement by Minister for Revenue Kelly O’Dwyer that reforms have been created that gives the ATO better capacity to manage the superannuation payment process.

Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA, stated today ‘the industry superannuation funds continue to peddle false information on how much money is owed by employers. There is money owed, but a lot less than the fantasy figures developed by the Industry funds through mathematical spells and statistical incantations. The reality is that the biggest contributor to late payments are the funds themselves who continue to have third world administrative practices with the collection process as well as record keeping that is hit and miss at best, mainly miss.’

Under the new arrangements funds will be required to notify the ATO when they receive payments from employers. This does not create any extra work for employers, a system proposed by the funds, and finally places responsibility on these lazy financial institutions.

COSBOA acknowledges the recent statement from the Australian Taxation Office that the gap in unpaid super was $2.8 billion as compared to the rubbery figures of $5.6 billion made up by the industry superannuation funds. That is still a sizeable figure and COSBOA has always stated that the best way to collect super is by NOT asking employers to complete this task but to include super in PAYG that goes to the ATO or ask the employee, the owner of the money, to forward it to their fund of choice. COSBOA also notes that 95% of employers are compliant. This shows that with such a large group of compliant employers and a regulator able to catch the few that get it wrong that the system is working and that the industry funds should go back to investing people’s money and cease inventing figures.

Mr Strong added “the only people in the superannuation collection process who do not get paid for the work they do is the small business owner who has to do the work in their own time or pay someone else to do it, the only individual in the whole system who can get fined for not doing their job is the small business person. This problem is compounded when one considers that many of the funds themselves are dishonest, incompetent and belligerent when it comes to their dealings with employers. Employers have been treated like slaves to these institutions for too long.”

Mr Strong also added ‘We know that, due to incompetence, the funds will still send the wrong information to the ATO and still create problems for honest hard working small business people as well as create fear from employees when there is no problem. We request the government to appoint a special position to the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman to deal with recalcitrant funds and apply suitable sanctions to force a change in culture and attitudes.”

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