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Employers are not required to pay superannuation to workers earning less than $450 per month.
Even if you work multiple jobs but get paid less than $450 at each, you’re missing out. Other Australians, who earn the same amount a month from just one job, do get super and are building retirement nest eggs.
Many low-income people and people working in the gig economy are cut out of the super system.
It’s particularly unfair, as many will have to rely solely on the age pension in retirement.
Women make up around 70% of Australia’s part-time workforce and are hit hardest by the $450 threshold. It's one of the big reasons the gap between men and women's retirement balances is so wide.
A nurse may work one or two shifts a month at three different hospitals to fit in with her home responsibilities, but she's missing out on super that could give her financial security in retirement.
The problem is only getting worse with people increasingly working one or more jobs paying than $450 per month.
Cindy works three hospitality jobs, and is paid $450 a month by each. She gets no super at all.
Her co-worker Celeste also works three jobs, but is paid $451 a month by each. She gets $1542 in super a year.
When they retire, Celeste will have $147 a week more than Cindy, a significant boost to her financial security.
A part-time retail worker earning $451 a month gets $514 a year in super.
Someone working an hour or two less a month and earning $450 gets nothing.
That super could mean $50 less per week during retirement - a real difference to life on the age pension. It’s simply not fair.
The $450 threshold was put in place in 1992 to address concerns about compliance costs, but that was before employers had digital systems to pay their staff and report on wages and super.
The cost to employers of removing the threshold will be minimal, but it will be a massive benefit to those who need super the most – low-income workers who are missing out on superannuation.