Wagga workers are being "robbed" of superannuation with new data showing more than 7000 wage-earners missed out on a total of $14.4 million in just one year.
Industry Super Australia research from the 2016-17 financial year ranks the city as one of the most vulnerable areas in the Murray-Riverina region when it comes to unpaid superannuation.
The report indicates employees are losing out on thousands as some bosses take advantage of loopholes in super laws, and workers' disengagement with managing their super account.
Alexandra Reynolds, a Wagga resident, faced problems a few years ago when she was working in advertising on a "sham contract", which is when someone should have the rights as a casual employee but the "employer pretends you are a sub-contractor".
"What happens in that situation is they do not hold your tax and you do not get a superannuation contribution," she said.
"I worked for them for about four years and two of those was full-time and before that was one or two days a week. I would have lost in the ballpark of five or six thousand dollars."
Ms Reynolds said young people rely on employers to guide them through the process and there should more support for those who are not financially literate.
Industry Super Australia CEO Bernie Dean said new legislation, which calls for tougher penalties and increased surveillance of employers, is welcome but is not enough to fix the problem.
"We see this legislation as the beginning and not the end of parliament's efforts to deal with unpaid super," he said.
"Currently, employers are only required to pay super into a worker's account on a quarterly basis, so what's on a pay slip may not reflect actual payment".
"That the onus is on workers themselves to check they're being paid a fundamental entitlement is quite unreasonable."
Mr Dean said the company wants to see legislation that requires all employers to pay super at the same time as paying wages.
"People in Wagga are losing $14.4 million and that is a shocking amount of money," he said.
"The minute you move away from capital cities, that generally have a greater proportion of stable and more employment options, that is where you find the problem hotspots.
"Some bosses know there is no cop on the beat and they know the laws are loose and it is daylight robbery."
Mr Dean acknowledged a lot of the employers are doing the right thing, but the dodgy ones are impacting the wider community.
He said there are two keys issues that need to be dealt with, the first is the employers who take advantage.
"During that quarter you might have employees who are leaving and don't get paid or if the employer finds they can get away with on the first quarter then they are just going to keep on doing it," he said. "Then we have a workforce who are just assuming they get paid."
Mr Dean said he recognises there needs to be a transition period, but anyone who stands in the way of this simple fix is "supporting workplace theft".
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the government is always looking for opportunities to ensure that superannuation members are paid what they are legally entitled to in a timely fashion
"But we also need to ensure there is no increase in regulatory burden on small businesses," he said.
"We will continue to work with Industry Super and the broader industry to leverage technological changes to ensure that this balance is appropriately struck. From July 1, the Liberal and Nationals' Government is introducing a number of measures to the superannuation space to support employees."
Mr McCormack said small employers with 19 or less employees will need to report through Single Touch Payroll which works by sending tax and super information from a business's payroll or accounting software to the ATO.
"Other measures include the cancellation of insurance on accounts which haven't received contributions for at least 16 months, no exit fees if you leave your super fund, and a fee limit on low-balance accounts," he said.
"Accounts with less than $6,000 which have been inactive for 16 months will be transferred to the ATO, which will then merge the account with your other active super account. If you do not have another active account, the ATO will keep your super safe."