Super outcome for PMSA members
Members in Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association (PMSA) schools have secured enhanced superannuation after overwhelmingly endorsing a new collective agreement.
Securing an 84% yes vote from employees at ballot, the new agreement means employees accessing co-contribution will receive an additional 1% super from their employer (triggered by the employers’ move to cease salary continuance insurance). The change was effective from 1 July 2017.
Superannuation co-contribution – or the ability to access additional super from an employer on the basis of an additional contribution by the employee – is an entitlement enjoyed by the majority of employees in our sector.
Superannuation is the cornerstone of every employee’s retirement future and any move to enhance employees’ super entitlements is significant.
IEUA-QNT member and Somerville House teacher David McAnalen said the 1% increase to co-contribution was significant for PMSA staff.
“Superannuation is a constant topic of conversation amongst staff. Planning for retirement is, for many members, part of their near future. Increased superannuation from the employer allows members to feel more secure for their later years,” he said.
David said the strength of IEUA-QNT Chapters in PMSA schools was central to the positive negotiation outcome.
“[The negotiations] certainly created very energised Chapters…it was only our strong collective voice that achieved the positive outcome, including the additional 1% superannuation.”
The new agreement also contains a number of other enhancements including:
- Enhanced wage and salary rates
- Additional teacher classifications and career recognition
- Higher salary ‘trigger points’ for PARs, HAT and Lead Teacher
- Updated long service leave, parental leave and domestic violence leave arrangements
- Additional employment opportunities for term-time school officers.
Australians increasingly nurturing super balances
Australians are continuing to recognise the role a healthy super balance will play in their retirement.
Recent figures from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) show that personal contributions to super funds have significantly increased, growing from $7.19 billion to $16.62 billion between the last two quarters.
The APRA figures also show that industry super funds outperformed bank-owned retail funds by 2.9% over the last 12 months.
Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) President Ged Kearney said the result reflected the merit of member-owned superannuation funds.
“Industry super funds are governed by unions and employers to ensure that members' interests and retirement savings are the most important issues, not maximising profits for banks or shareholder returns,” Ms Kearney said.
Black hole of lost super emerges as employers fail to pay billions
While many workers are taking steps to build their super balances, others have been short-changed with the extent of employer super underpayment revealed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for the first time.
The ATO estimates that Australian workers were denied in $2.85 billion dollars in super entitlements in the year 2014-2015 due to failure of employers to make adequate payments.
IEUA-QNT Assistant Secretary Brad Hayes said figures such as those released by the ATO were deeply concerning.
“The current superannuation system places the onus entirely on employees to monitor and report instances of unpaid super,” Mr Hayes said.
“With superannuation essential to prosperity in retirement, it is particularly shameful that so many employers have failed to fulfil their legal obligations in this regard.
“These figures are a wakeup call for all workers to remain vigilant about their superannuation balances and raise any suspected underpayment with their union for advocacy and support.”
Any members with concerns about their superannuation should contact our union for advice on FREECALL 1800 177 938 or firstname.lastname@example.org