Minister must support KiwiSavers against defaulting employers

The Government must do more to chase employers who haven’t paid $28 million of their workers KiwiSaver contributions, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“In the past year more than 12,000 employers haven’t paid their workers’ contributions, up from 2000 last year.

“That is $28 million of hard-earned entitlements that workers are missing out on. They have put their own wages into the scheme expecting their employers to do the same.

“Employers not paying their fair share threatens to further undermine confidence in the retirement scheme after National has spent years hacking away at it.

“In five separate cuts since coming to office, National has taxed employer contributions, halved the maximum Member Tax Credit from $1042 to $521, halved the Member Tax Credit rate from $1 for every dollar saved to 50c, reduced employee/employer contributions from 4 per cent to 3 per cent and abolished the $1000 kick-start payment.

“Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse has dismissed the missing contributions as ‘irksome, but not dramatic’. While it might not seem much to the Minister, it is not a small amount to workers, and will grow considerably after decades earning interest.

“At the moment only half of the employers are doing anything to pay their debts. That is unacceptable.

“Inland Revenue is quick to chase workers and beneficiaries that owe money. The Minister should direct it to chase defaulting employers with the same rigour,” Grant Robertson says.