As Australian Tax Office (ATO) figures reveal that only 45 per cent of Australians have confidence in their ability to make informed decisions about their super, the Coalition has weighed into the debate claiming that a Coalition government would restore confidence in the super system.
Shadow assistant treasurer and shadow minister for financial services and superannuation Mathias Cormann has blamed Labor’s “constant chopping and changing”, and increased taxes on superannuation, for ATO’s discovery that 43 per cent of Australians don’t have any interest in super, and 69 per cent have no knowledge about the government's latest proposed changes.
While sticking the dagger into the current administration, Cormann has pledged that a Coalition government would work to:
Ensure Australians in default superannuation funds can benefit from genuine choice and competition;
improve superannuation governance by implementing a series of corporate governance reforms recommended by the Cooper Review but not progressed by Labor;
improve the transparency of information available to consumers so they can properly compare super funds;
properly address the issue of excess contributions to make sure that Australians are not unfairly penalised for genuine unintended errors when making superannuation contributions;
if and when the budget is back in surplus and government debt is back under control, revisit concessional superannuation contribution caps;
cut red tape and streamline employer superannuation reporting by implementing a superannuation clearing house through the ATO;
review the regulatory barriers currently restricting the availability of relevant and appropriate income stream products for Australian retirees; and
review the current mandated minimum payment levels for account-based pensions to assess their adequacy and appropriateness in light of current financial market conditions.
“Despite having been promised before the 2007 election that Labor would not change superannuation arrangements – not one jot, not one tiddle – Australians saving to achieve self-funded retirement have been forced to pay the price for Labor’s fiscal mismanagement ever since,” said Cormann.
He criticised what he called Labor’s moved to increase taxes on super savings “by stealth” through reductions in the concessional super contribution caps from $50,000 and $100,000, down to $25,000.
Also on Cormann’s hit list was the reduction of the superannuation co-contribution scheme, and what he labelled as the government’s failure to address the “excessive and disproportionate penalties” ATO imposes on inadvertent breaches of superannuation contribution caps.
“Meanwhile Labor and Minister Shorten have been incredibly slow to act to ensure that Australians in default super can benefit from genuine competition in the default superannuation market,” said Cormann. “They have been slow to act on important Cooper Review recommendations to improve corporate governance and transparency standards in superannuation.”
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