Media Releases

2 September 2020

ASFA: Ballooning business profits support Superannuation Guarantee increase

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) says the National Accounts data released today re-enforces the need for the legislated increase in the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) to go ahead.

ASFA CEO, Dr Martin Fahy said “once again we see clear evidence that the share of income accruing to business is ballooning while hard pressed workers face the bleak reality of weaker wages for longer.

“At $1 a day per employee, the increase in superannuation is affordable for the majority of businesses and is now critical to allow workers to catch up, given they haven’t seen a significant wage rise in years, and with little possibility of higher wages on the horizon.”

The SG rate is scheduled to increase from its current 9.5% to 10% on 1 July 2021.

In the June quarter 2020, total corporate profits (of non-financial corporations) increased by 15 per cent and was 16 per cent higher than for the corresponding quarter last year. Excluding the mining sector, the quarterly increase in corporate profits was the largest in almost two decades. The ASX200 index rose by 16 per cent over the same period.

In contrast, the total amount of wages and salaries paid to workers in the quarter fell by 2.5 per cent and was around the same level compared with the corresponding quarter last year.

Growth in corporate profits and total wages and salaries paid, June quarter 2020

Growth in corporate profits and total wages and salaries paid, June quarter 2020

Source: ABS National Accounts

“Only the scheduled increase in the Superannuation Guarantee will provide workers with a pay rise next year and help to address the structural imbalances that continue to occur between fat profits and flat wages,” Dr Fahy concluded.

For further information, please contact:
Jacqui Maddock, 0451 949 300.

About ASFA
ASFA is the peak policy, research and advocacy body for Australia’s superannuation industry. It is a not-for-profit, sector-neutral, and non-party political, national organisation. ASFA’s mission is to continuously improve the superannuation system, so all Australians can enjoy a comfortable and dignified retirement.