The Morrison Government’s Putting Members Interest First Bill, which will leave almost 1.9 million Australian workers at risk of destitution in event of a workplace accident or injury, passed the Senate this afternoon.

The legislation prohibits default insurance by superannuation trustees for members under 25 years of age and with account balances under $6,000.

The ACTU welcomes the amendments made by the ALP and the senate crossbench. The amendments will allow for workers in high-risk occupations to be covered by default insurance.

Despite these improvements, many workers with children, mortgages and others who need insurance are going to be left without. The Bill will affect 1.9 million workers, many of whom will expect to be covered by insurance. 

The amendments run counter to the desire of the Morrison Government to categorise superannuation as another financial service and show that the majority in the Senate understand the importance and benefits of a close relationship between workplaces and super funds.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Scott Connolly

“Super is not just another financial service, it is a workplace entitlement and should be tailored to individual workplaces.

“Industry funds consistently outperform retail funds on performance but because they understand workplaces are also able to provide services which are suited to their members and specialised for their workplace and industry.

“The amendments for high-risk occupations are welcome, but this bill will still strip insurance from many workers who need it.

“We are concerned for the 1.9 million workers who will be worse off under this bill, and the families who may be without support should the worst happen at work to a loved one.

“Reforming super to follow workers from job to job remains a better solution to the problem this bill sets out to address, and it is disappointing that the Morrison Government instead decided to rip insurance from millions of workers.”