Australia urged to support retirement needs of gig workforce
Approximately 275,000 gig employees in Australia are missing out on A$400 million (US$266.9 million) in superannuation contributions each year.
Specifically, the average gig employee could boost their retirement savings by up to A$29,000 (US$19,351) if they received superannuation contributions, according to a new report by Industry Super Australia, an Australian superannuation fund that aims to provide retirement benefits for employees.
In Australia, the gig workforce consists of a diverse group of employees, encompassing a range of professions, such as delivery drivers, disability carers, IT professionals, and education workers, who are classified as independent contractors and, as such, are not entitled to superannuation contributions.
The report further highlighted that a typical transport and food-delivery driver misses out on A$1,900 (US$1,268) super contributions per year, assuming they work an average of 14.5 hours a week and earn A$24 (US$16) an hour. This amount is estimated to grow to A$17,200 (US$11,477) at retirement if the worker spends three years in the industry and A$28,700 (US$19,151) if they spend five years.
READ: Australia urged to support retirement needs of gig workforce
Bernie Dean, Chief Executive of Industry Super Australia, argued that being a gig worker should not preclude individuals from the opportunity to save for their retirement. He elaborated, “Paying gig workers super isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes economic sense because they’ll be more self-sufficient in retirement and less reliant on the age pension, which we all pay for through taxes.”
“These workers are critical to caring for our elderly, delivering food and driving us home, they have every right to share the benefits of what is meant to be a universal savings system.”