Wage boost promises were not kept in 2014 when SG froze

The wage boost promise, when the superannuation guarantee was frozen in 2014, never materialised and workers were not compensated for their lost super, according to an enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) analysis.

The analysis of 8,370 EBAs conducted by Industry Super Australia (ISA), found that while thousands of agreements were locked in place when the SG freeze was announced, most employers saw little need to renegotiate them to pass on the lost super as higher wages.

ISA noted that politicians were again claiming that cutting next year’s legislated 0.5% SG rise would lead to higher wages.

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“The economic downturn makes wage rises far less likely now and most economists now concede that Australian workers are not going to receive any real wage growth over the coming years – making the super rate increase the only pay rise on offer for most workers,” ISA said.

“A worker on the cusp of retirement has already lost about $100,000 from previous super guarantee delays, further pauses will compound the losses.

“It is unfair that some politicians – who receive more than 15% super contributions – are once again cruelly asking workers to sacrifice their chance for security and dignity in retirement for nothing in return.”

The rate was scheduled to rise to 10% in 2015, and 0.5% each year after until it reached 12% in 2019. ISA said the delay could cost the average full-time worker in their 30s, $45,000 at retirement.

“The pay cut persisted for years, once those agreements expired the new deals did not include catch up wage increases to compensate for the lost super,” ISA said.

“In agreements certified after the super rate was cut, wage growth fell from 3.33% before the cut to 3.27%. This shows employers pocketed the lost super and workers’ total remuneration also went backwards.

“This paper confirms what Australians already knew, that most employers do not voluntarily return the loss of mandatory super payments as wages and the 2014 super freeze left workers worse off.”


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