Gig economy a curve ball for superannuation and the age pension

The growing gig economy risks leaving more workers excluded from receiving superannuation payments and poses a challenge to policymakers reviewing the retirement system.

The Actuaries Institute has warned the growth of on-demand or gig jobs, like Uber and Deliveroo, pose a “new set of problems” for Australian workers in these jobs as they are often not paid the superannuation guarantee and are more likely to need the age pension.

The gig economy poses a new risk to the retirement system.Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

A major concern raised by the professional body in a submission to the government’s retirement income review is that gig workers are often casuals, typically contractors rather than employees, and may take several jobs each paying less than the $450 threshold at which an employer is required to pay the super guarantee.

This could leave taxpayers supporting more people falling back onto the age pension at a time when there is a falling ratio of workers to retirees, the Institute said, suggesting everyone should be covered by the super guarantee. Removing the $450 threshold has been a common proposal in many submissions into the review.


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