A new study debunks the myth that blue-collar workers are the occupational group most likely not to receive their superannuation entitlements.
Using ATO data from 2015/16, Mercer's Unsupered report reveals of the 397,900 salaried employees who are not paid superannuation they are entitled to, office workers are mostly likely to be robbed of their super.
Managers (79,450) are the largest cohort not to have their SG paid, followed by technicians and tradies (55,750), clerical and administrative workers (50,400), and labourers (44,950).
One admin worker commented he was "too scared" to ask the employer why his super isn't being paid and end up making excuses.
The employer typically responds with: 'After the tax you don't get much, how about instead I give you some time in lieu?' he said.
The majority of the 'unsupered' are low-income earners in the $8001 to $40,000 per year bracket. This finding is consistent with the anecdotal evidence of lower paying jobs being more likely to result in breaches of employee entitlements, the report said.
ATO figures found 935,350 workers earning more than $8000 were not saving for their retirement. This represents a $4 billion hole in annual super savings and a potential $145 billion deficit across their working life.
Mercer Australia industry fund and public sector leader Jo-Anne Bloch said the report highlighted major problems with the compulsory superannuation scheme that fails to keep pace with the changing workplace and legislation requiring employers to pay workers their legal entitlements.
"Our data analysis highlights a widespread issue costing Australian workers across all industries billions in lost retirement savings, and shines a light on unscrupulous employers who aren't doing the right thing by their staff by withholding their legal entitlements," Bloch said.