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Employers failing Kiwsaver obligations

Written By: - Date published: 11:40 am, August 5th, 2016 - 35 comments
Categories: capitalism, economy, superannuation, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

In a sign of just how stressed our economy is:

IRD chasing employers failing to pay into KiwiSaver

Inland Revenue is chasing employers for unpaid KiwiSaver contributions worth tens of millions of dollars.

Figures obtained by RNZ showed that at the end of June, Inland Revenue was chasing 12,182 employers for $24.9 million in unpaid contributions and penalties.

Ok that’s bad.

The debt included $12.32m in employee contributions that were taken from workers’ salaries but never passed on to Inland Revenue, which administers the KiwiSaver scheme.

And that’s even worse. I/S at No Right Turn doesn’t mince words:

…These employers are stealing from their employees. There is no other way to describe it. Its their employees’ money, and the employers are not doing what they are supposed to with it. And that makes it an open-and-shut case of theft by a person in a special relationship, which carries a penalty of up to seven years imprisonment.

If these thieving employers don’t want to pay the money they owe, then IRD should pass their information on to police and have them prosecuted. Or do thieves get a pass if they wear suits?

I think this is more a sign of economic stress than deliberate theft, but either way it has to be fixed.

35 comments on “Employers failing Kiwsaver obligations ”

  1. Siobhan 1

    I’m concerned this will fall into a tax issue category where businesses can potentially get debt wiped by IRD.
    This should be treated as a ‘non payment of wages’ situation, which, should be, criminal. Unfortunately I suspect a good number of non payers will be small businesses who have a habit of closing down, ditching the debt, and then popping up a few weeks later under a different name and ownership structure.

    Taking the money and not passing it on??
    That is saying ‘my need is greater than your need’.
    That is theft Pure and simple.

    • Chuck 1.1

      Not just small business Siobhan, a certain union has good form as well.


      PAYE / GST / KIWISAVER / its all stealing…if an employer does not pass it onto the IRD, they need to be held to account.

      [r0b: that was in 2010, an administrative error that was fixed and paid off. You know, like when National “forgot” GST and illegally overspent its election budget.]

      • McFlock 1.1.1

        “good form”?

        Almost expired under the Clean Slate Act.
        We need better wingnuts.

        • infused

          Cool. Let’s just wipe this current debt too.

        • adam

          The collective,

          can we get a new subsection added to policy please.

          The clause “Matt did bad and we know – but he did good and actually paid the bill when he got out of hospital after his heart attack” clause please.

          Dear God, can we pretty please?

          I’m over that one being repeated, especially when the man was unwell for a long time.

          • Chuck

            “The clause “Matt did bad and we know – but he did good and actually paid the bill when he got out of hospital after his heart attack” clause please.”

            You are a good laugh adam…”Matt did good” because he would of received a criminal conviction and may of gone to jail!!

            Lots of people may become unwell (at times) but most do not use that excuse to break the law…OR have people like you use it to justify breaking a law. And not any law, but a fundamental tax law that any leftie would hung draw and quarter any other employer over.

            • adam

              You really should know facts before you open you mouth Chucky. But I’m sure others here can fill you in.

              And this is around kiwisaver, not p.a.y.e so it is a contract issue with employees, not IRD.

              But sure keep up the side tracking, I’m sure people love that.

              One last note, so like all wingnuts you are happy to kick someone when they’re down then ah chucky?

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              “would of”

              “may of”

              “hung draw”

              How can you pretend legal expertise with literacy issues?

              • Chuck

                Are you after a job OAB?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  No. I’m pointing out that you’re full of shit, using your literacy issues as an example of your incompetence.

                  • Chuck

                    I know OAB, I was just having some fun re – “after a job OAB?”!

                    But if my literacy issues is all you can point to…then old chap you don’t have much do ya?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I can pick low hanging fruit with the best of them, and those are all the skills I need to argue with you.

                      The OP opines that in the present, economic stress rather than malice may be afoot. However, we can be sure that your attack on “the union” is motivated by not just malice but by pure hatred.

                      Choke on it, Chuckie.

                    • In Vino

                      Language is the instrument of thought, and I think OAB’s quite right to take issue with Chuck’s semi-literacy. Chuck’s thought is handicapped, like it or not.

      • Dale 1.1.2

        Chuck your lucky you got away with that. When I mentioned it I was threatened with a total ban from commenting here.

        • In Vino

          The ban should have been imposed. Anybody who is too lazy to write ‘you’re lucky’ instead of ‘your lucky’ (???) deserves to be banned.

          • Chuck

            Comedy gold In Vino and OAB!

            Keep it up lads, in another life you both were no doubt high school English teachers. Angry with the world and life in general, taking it out on the pupils 🙂

  2. NZJester 2

    The money taken from the wages is at least government guaranteed, but the extra on top that is the employer contribution is not. So if they do not get in that extra money, then a lot of workers are going to be short a lot of money in their kiwi saver accounts, that should have been there once they do reach retirement age.
    National seems to be willing to forgive corporate thieves that steal large amounts, but god help you if you are not a corporate and steal a small amount as you are going to jail.
    Remember when those businesses were stealing money from wage packets of employees for other people’s thefts because it happened on their shift.
    All those petrol station employees having to pay for anyone that drove off without paying for instance. National seemed unwilling to prosecute those businesses at the time also.
    I wonder how many of those employees never got their money back and how many businesses might have gotten double pay for the thefts by not only deducting from the employee but also via writing the amount off on their taxes.

  3. Ralf Crown 3

    It is much worse than that. If employers are cheating the employees and the government in New Zealand, that is nothing against how the government of New Zealand is cheating old people in New Zealand. Immigrants have their kiwi saver equivalent payments from overseas confiscated by the New Zealand government. Scandinavia, Norway and Sweden, has a similar kiwi saver scheme as New Zealand. Employers are obliged to send 18.5% of the employees pay to personal accounts in state independent funds for retirement. There are seven state independent funds and about 7,000 private funds. To make sure the money is paid it is collected by the local IRD, just as in New Zealand, and forwarded to the funds. It is not a tax, but a compulsory saving. The fund accounts are personal, you pay nothing you get no return when you get old, you pay in a lot you get a lot of return. If you have not saved and consequently get no payments from savings, a “guarantee pension” similar to our Super is topping up the payment to retired people. Tax is high in these countries, the total tax take is about 50% and has in individual cases gone over 100% (The Pomperipossa affairs), so when you get a return from your fund savings the return is paid by the National Insurance Cashier, which also pay all social welfare, to make sure the tax is collected. The New Zealand government is under threat of criminal charges confiscating these payments from savings. Why is The Standard not bringing this theft up.

    • NZJester 3.1

      Government theft seems to be coming commonplace around the world. Look at those countries recently that have put in laws to steal the money and valuables off of refugees, that are just trying to pass through their country.
      Be careful if you go to the US and an officer there askes if they can search you. There are legal robberies happening in the US as in some states an officer can ask to search you for no reason at all and if you agree and have money on you it can be confiscated under the flimsy assumption that it could be the proceeds of crime. You must then go to court to prove it is not to get it back. They apparently like to pick on travellers who are definately likely to be carrying money as they are on a trip. As a lot of people can’t afford to make it back to attend these court cases the police get to keep the money to fund themselves.

      • Ralf Crown 3.1.1

        “Those countries” is Denmark. “Refugees” came loaded with millions of dollars in gold and valuables and asked for asylum, then they live happily on $10,000 monthly welfare for 10 to 15 years. Those people are not refugees, they are welfare bludgers and economic migrants looking for a better life on others expense. They refuse to learn the local language because there is a risk they may be offered a job.

  4. Dave 4

    So there not even passing on the employee contribution either they stole our holiday money now there taking our retirement money and this government allows it New Zealand really is a banana republic corruption and theft by those is power is becoming emdemic

  5. adam 5

    I think theft is theft, if you are not coping, ask for help.

    Business and in particular small business are loath to do this in my experience.

    That said, this is a twofold obligation. One via a contract – in this case employment. And the other via the state, vis-à-vis IRD.

    As stated above, I’m not sure IRD can write-it-off, because it is part of an employment contract. Secondly IRD is the collection and administration agency, not the enforcer of employment contracts.

    If ‘theft as a servant’ is a charge which carries through you whole life, then ‘theft as an employer’ should carry the same moral weight and criticism of a person at fault as well.

  6. save nz 6

    Shocking, but why am I not surprised?

  7. mary_a 7

    The trickle down effect takes on a whole new dimension …

    At the top, government steals by stealth from the country by way of public assets, lying, cheating and fraud, with ministers building their own elite, wealthy empires – through three terms of office …

    While several rungs down the ladder of deceit and fraud, unscrupulous employers stealing from employees, via KiwiSaver contributions. Taking their cue from the top obviously!

    Both categories are thieving ratbags and need to be held to account and dealt with severely!

  8. Dale 8

    Hopefully now Labour will see that it is the workers you need to appeal to.
    Employers aren’t stealing from workers because of “hard times ” they are doing it for greed!
    We the workers are your missing million,please hear us!

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Isn’t it amazing just how fast the RWNJs will defend theft if it’s by an employer?

  10. mosa 10

    Theft and tax evasion is almost legal under the NASTY NATZ if you are privileged that goes for stealing Kiwi saver contributions from the working poor and others.
    Its seems that the National party have real contempt for poverty and the poor and treat them as the enemy, why else would they sanction this type of crime and wage constant war against the most vunerable in this country.
    Maybe we dont have enough beggars in the street or cardboard houses for all too see just yet.
    Three more years should do it !

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