A NSW university will return $10 million to thousands of current and former employees after it discovered it has underpaid their superannuation entitlements since 2009.
The University of Wollongong on Wednesday revealed it is set to repay $10 million in unpaid entitlements, interest owed and potential penalties after discovering longstanding failures in its payroll system.
It admitted the failures potentially affected thousands of current and former employees dating back to 2009.
UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings notified all staff to apologise for the errors. He also made a commitment to repay what was owed without any threat to jobs, teaching and research activities.
Already announced university projects would also be protected.
"Because the university is in a strong financial position, we have funded our superannuation remediation actions without the need to examine overall staff numbers, deferral of major projects, or curtailment of normal operations," Mr Wellings said.
"I am determined to see that all current and former staff members have the correct superannuation contributions made on their behalf.
"I apologise for these errors and any inconvenience caused to those staff affected.
The university will also pay any interest owed to staff affected and will not seek to recover any overpaid contributions.
It is aiming to update its payroll systems by the end of this financial year to ensure superannuation entitlements are paid at the correct rate in future.
An estimated $10 million has been set aside in the University's 2016 accounts to repay superannuation entitlements owed, any interest owing and potential penalties issued by the Australian Taxation Office.
Deloitte accounting experts have been recruited to review the amount of unpaid superannuation contributions owed since 2009.
This will involve a review of 767,757 payslips recording payments to 21,406 employees totalling more than $1.95 billion over nearly eight years.
About 30 per cent of the employees paid during this period have potentially been affected.
"These weren't deliberate errors, nor were they easily detectable," Professor Wellings said.
The university has notified the Australian Taxation Office of its errors and is also advising other state and federal authorities, unions and superannuation funds.
Affected staff will be contacted in coming weeks.
Former employees can register their current contact details by calling UOW's Superannuation Assistance Line on 1800 501 895 or online at http://uow.edu.au/about/scrp