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The rise of the gig economy spells bad news for retirement incomes



The massive rise of insecure work is threatening the retirement incomes system and risks making workers reliant on the age pension, new research has found.

“More people risk falling outside superannuation guarantee as the gig economy expands,” said Nathan Bonarius, the author of a submission from the Actuaries Institute to the federal government’s Retirement Income Review.

“There are a lot of people in the gig economy who are technically self employed who don’t get the superannuation guarantee and don’t have to make contributions,” Mr Bonarius said.

The gig economy accounts for 7.1 per cent of the workforce and 13.1 per cent of workers reported using it at some point.

Those figures come from a national survey conducted by the University of Adelaide, Queensland University of Technology and the University of Technology Sydney for the Victorian government last year.

Gig economy jobs are defined as short term or freelance, typically organised through apps or computers.

Although figures on the growth of the gig world are hard to find, the number of ABNs (issued by the Australian Taxation Office) necessary to undertake this work has exploded.

ABN registrations almost doubled between 2012 and 2018 while the numbers of other types of business registrations were almost flat, the survey found.

The explosion in gig work is bad news for retirement incomes.

“If you are not contributing, then you get to retirement without super and you have to rely on the age pension,” Mr Bonarius said.

“As years go by, that has the potential to undermine the retirement incomes system.”

Current projections, based on a growing number of workers with super, would see our dependence on the age pension decline as super balances grow.

But the rise of insecure work could reverse that trend and potentially make the system unsustainable.

The gig economy, and other types of insecure or casual work, is swelling the ranks of workers missing out on entitlements like super, holiday pay and sick pay, according to Dr Jim Stanford, director of the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute.

“Now more than half the employed people in Australia are in insecure work,” he said.

“It’s a growing problem and it requires urgent attention from policy makers to prevent employers using it as a giant loophole [to avoid workplace entitlements].”

The research for the Victorian government found that the five most common digital platforms used by gig workers are: Airtasker (34.8 per cent of platform workers), Uber (22.7 per cent), Freelancer (11.8 per cent), Uber Eats (10.8 per cent) and Deliveroo (8.2 per cent).

Mr Bonarius said the problem must be tackled as a matter of urgency.

“People need to get super,” he said.

“You could force companies like Uber to pay super or force gig workers to make contributions.

“You could also provide a bigger tax incentive to encourage those workers to make voluntary contributions.”

Super members cut their own pensions

The Actuaries Institute submission also found superannuation members could earn far higher incomes in retirement if they used annuity-style products rather than just relying on allocated pensions.

The report found that a woman retiring at 66 with $200,000 in a standard balanced fund would see a continued rise in income through retirement using an annuity-style product as part of her asset mix.

If the balance was simply left in an allocated pension after retirement, annual income would fluctuate around $10,000 per year then fall away.

“By choosing to stay in an allocated pension, the income through retirement would be between 15 per cent and 30 per cent lower than using a pooled longevity product,” Mr Bonarius said.

A pooled longevity product insures members against running out of super by pooling with a group of similar members and making regular income payments.

Allocated pensions often pay out less because they pay the minimum income demanded by law with members “not having the confidence to spend more of their super,” Mr Bonarius said.

However, the downside for families is that pooled longevity products don’t pay out to beneficiaries after the member dies.

“They aim for retirement income, not paying out to beneficiaries on death,” Mr Bonarius said.

However, he added that choosing a longevity pooled product would not mean that spouses would not be paid on the death of a member as they would be entitled to a revisionary benefit.

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The Gig Economy Gets It Together




Anyone who’s ever done gig work – from rideshare drivers to freelance writers – experiences moments of doubt. At those times, it’s easy to believe that no one is thinking about your value as a worker, or how to protect you in the most basic ways that full-timers might take for granted.

Rest easy, gigsters: Someone is thinking about you, starting with governments around the world that suddenly seem aware of how big of a deal gig work has become in the past 10 years. The February 2020 Gig Economy Tracker, powered by Tipalti, analyzes recent trends and headlines in the mushrooming gig belt, which will comprise some 75 million Americans by the end of this year. Put another way, that’s closing in on half the U.S. workforce. It’s also revising long-held definitions of “workday” and “payday” as gig work (and gig workers) proliferate.

Another thing freelancers know about are all the ways payments can go wrong. They’re experts on the many snags that prevent gig folk from getting paid in time to make rent. But that situation is giving way to more enlightened and humane ways of getting freelancers their money, as industry and government finally face gig economics they’ve been ignoring.

As Manish Vrishaketu, COO at payment services provider Tipalti, notes in this latest Tracker, “Gig and marketplace partner payments are integral to the business model and require careful consideration. Ineffective payments can literally hurt the business, because the supply chain is so closely tied to performance and success. An unhappy provider – who likely is customer-facing — may taint your reputation with customers. Gig payments are mission-critical.”

Who Am I?

Much of the gig economy talk these days has to do with California’s Assembly Bill 5 – known simply as AB5 – which is essentially forcing large gig economy players like Uber to start treating their gig workers more like team members and less like expendable cogs in a machine.

California’s legislation set off a wildfire of sorts, with U.S. cities and states – as well as nations including India – announcing laws similar to AB5, at least in spirit. Some actually go quite a bit further into fairly draconian territory as governments set things right for gig workers – whether gig workers want the help or not.

Many are unhappy with how the new laws are written, and how they recategorize freelancers. U.S. legal maneuvering over gig work is far from over, as New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that reclassifies certain freelancers. And the wrangling has just begun.

Legal standing hasn’t stopped companies from snapping up gig workers, though. Package delivery service Amazon Flex debuted in Australia in January, and could be coming to a city near you soon.

The Gig Grows Up

India has proposed one of the more interesting takes on this. The country’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade wants only licensed professional freelancers to do gig work. They would be issued a kind of vendor ID number under the plan – but it’s not a done deal.

In fact, when it comes to the gig economy, very little has been settled, from regulation to the legal status of “workers” to who’s responsible for what under these agreements. It promises to be a rollicking year as these laws (and their court challengers) zero in on what “gig” means.


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GiG platform to power new lottery business




After securing a license from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), lottery newcomer, Megalotto, has gone live across multiple markets in its effort to “redefine” the online lottery experience of its customers.

Backed by venture capital company Optimizer Invest, the new online lottery and gaming business will launch its mobile-first lottery product on the Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) (GIG:Oslo) platform.

Megalotto will give millions of players access to lotteries on a global scale in a mobile-first environment.

According to a recent press release

…the St. Julian’s-headquartered business will be a unique brand within the online lottery vertical as its product is a departure from traditional transactional lottery products while its interface is intuitive for ease of use.

In addition to offering the largest jackpots from top lotteries around the world, Megalotto will also have on offer scratchcards, slots and instant win content, from well-known third-party suppliers.

“We are delighted to be going live with our new venture and to get our product in front of customers, said Megatotto’s Chief Executive Officer, Grant Williams.

“Our vision from day one has been to design and build an innovative and disruptive lottery product, and we believe we are on track to do just that. We have recruited a high quality, experienced management team to lead the launch of this new Optimizer Invest backed product, matching the ambitious plans we have in place for the markets we will be targeting, added Williams.”

Also commenting on the recent tie-up, Chief Executive Officer for Optimizer Invest, Petter Moldenius, said…

“The innovative Megalotto product is the result of a successful partnership between two of our portfolio companies, bringing a world class, truly customer friendly experience. Megalotto will give millions of players access to lotteries on a global scale in a mobile-first environment that is pushing the envelope for innovation of iGaming experiences on-the-go.”

Betsson acquisition:

In related news…

…Swedish holding company, Betsson AB (BETSB:Stockholm), has reportedly acquired Gaming Innovation Group subsidiary Zecure Gaming Limited, which operates its inhouse brands in Sweden.

The approximately €31m (US$33.6 million) deal, which consists of a €22.3 million cash payment, plus a prepaid platform fee of €8.7 million, has seen the transfer of GiG brands – Guts, Kaboo, Rizk and Thrills – to the Stockholm-headquartered company. The brands operate under licenses held in Malta, UK, Sweden and Germany (Schleswig-Holstein).

According to the press release, the Rizk brand will be launching under licenses held in Croatia and Spain. In addition to gaining opportunities with other brands in the two European countries, Betsson plans to integrate its own payment platforms and proprietary sportsbook with the GiG platform. The move will allow the holding company to offer its advanced technologies to potential B2B clients of the platform.

Growth potential:

Commenting on the acquisition, Chief Executive Officer for Betsson AB and Group President, Pontus Lindwall, said…

“Betsson’s ambition is to outgrow the market in the long term, organically and through acquisitions. This acquisition confirms that Betsson is a driver of the consolidation of the market. We believe this deal offers a good opportunity for Betsson to consolidate, at good value, where we can create synergies and apply our core B2C skills and marketing insights to scale these assets to their true potential. The agreement with GiG further strengthens and expands Betsson’s outreach and growth potential for its proprietary sportsbook and payments platforms in the B2B market. As one of the largest European operators, Betsson is well positioned to continue building on its strategic position.”

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Gig Based Business Market Projected to Witness Vigorous Expansion by 2019-2025 – Jewish Market Reports




In this report, the global Gig Based Business market is valued at USD XX million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD XX million by the end of 2025, growing at a CAGR of XX% during the period 2019 to 2025.

For top companies in United States, European Union and China, this report investigates and analyzes the production, value, price, market share and growth rate for the top manufacturers, key data from 2019 to 2025.

The Gig Based Business market report firstly introduced the basics: definitions, classifications, applications and market overview; product specifications; manufacturing processes; cost structures, raw materials and so on. Then it analyzed the world’s main region market conditions, including the product price, profit, capacity, production, supply, demand and market growth rate and forecast etc. In the end, the Gig Based Business market report introduced new project SWOT analysis, investment feasibility analysis, and investment return analysis.

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The major players profiled in this Gig Based Business market report include:

The key players covered in this study
Favor Delivery

Market segment by Type, the product can be split into

Market segment by Application, split into
Independent Contractor
Project Worker

Market segment by Regions/Countries, this report covers
North America

The study objectives of this report

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The study objectives of Gig Based Business Market Report are:

To analyze and research the Gig Based Business market status and future forecast in United States, European Union and China, involving sales, value (revenue), growth rate (CAGR), market share, historical and forecast.

To present the Gig Based Business manufacturers, presenting the sales, revenue, market share, and recent development for key players.

To split the breakdown data by regions, type, companies and applications

To analyze the global and key regions Gig Based Business market potential and advantage, opportunity and challenge, restraints and risks.

To identify significant trends, drivers, influence factors in global and regions

To analyze competitive developments such as expansions, agreements, new product launches, and acquisitions in the keyword market.

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