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Union Win at Cairns Regional Council – Superannuation underpayment finally fixed!

Local Authorities June 10, 2021

Superannuation is one of the many benefits that workers and their Unions have fought for. A decent superannuation nest egg is essential to a safe, secure and happy retirement. As your ally in the workplace, The Services Union will always assist when members identify that their superannuation is not being correctly paid. Late last year we became aware that some members at Cairns Regional Council had been receiving only 9.5% employer contribution despite Council being required to pay 12%. Additionally, the required 6% employee contribution had been paid into wages instead of into the superannuation fund.

To make matters worse, Council placed demands on affected employees that in order to receive the 12% they would need to pay back all the money that had been incorrectly paid into wages instead of the superannuation fund. At the time Council stated that they had received advice from the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) that this was the correct course of action.

This is completely contrary to the superannuation provisions of the Local Government Act 2009 and we quickly made Council aware that their demands were unacceptable and contrary to law.

Our Union is pleased to advise that our advice was correct and Council has now rectified the error. The missing 2.5% will be paid from the time that the employee became eligible, and any compound interest that is payable will also be paid. For affected employees, this means many thousands of dollars added to their superannuation account. Over time this will continue to compound and provide a more secure and safe retirement.

Without the intervention of the Union, a significant injustice would have happened.

Please, always check your payslips to ensure that your wages and your superannuation contributions are being paid correctly. The Union will always be by your side if you have any concerns on this – or any other matter. If you work with someone who is not yet a member, remind them of the support you can access because of your membership. Joining is easy at


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