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Super action denied

HAVING trouble determining the correct amount of superannuation your employer ought to be paying for you and your colleagues? If so, you are not alone.

The Federal Court has criticised the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act, saying its provisions are unintelligible to most people.

Dismissing an application by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union over the ‘notional earnings base’ on which a superannuation guarantee obligation can be determined, the court said the act was of major importance to a large proportion of the Australian population.

“It ought to be readily accessible and intelligible to everyone,” Justice Wilcox said.

Justice Wilcox determined that the ‘notional earnings base’ need not be based on actual earnings.

He interpreted ‘earnings’ as those of a standard or representative employee, and not actual earnings, which could vary between employees, due to, for example, voluntary overtime.

Common compulsory overtime and allowance benefits could be included in ‘earnings’, in addition to wages, Justice Wilcox said.

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