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Hockey hints at changes to super

Hockey hints at changes to super

Elyse Perrau and Katarina Taurian
22 May 2014

Treasurer Joe Hockey has hinted that changes to superannuation may be on the horizon before the next federal election.

On the ABC’s Q&A program earlier this week, the Treasurer was asked if the government was considering changing the age at which super can be accessed.

He said the government was not considering it “at this particular point in time” and will “have more to say about retirement incomes further down the track”.

“I suspect it will be in this term, because I think what we’re trying to do is give people a long lead time.”

Speaking to SMSF Adviser, Taxpayers Australia’s Reece Agland said the government will likely find a way of “skirting around” breaking their pre-election promise of no detrimental changes to superannuation.

“I think what they will do is propose measures for next term. To keep their promise I think they have to do it next term, but they will make proposals that will come out now,” Mr Agland said.

Mr Agland said increasing the preservation age is a “necessary” change.

“If they increase the retirement age to 70, I think the reality is they will need to. There should be a five-year difference between when people retire and when there is a preservation age that is the generally accepted view. So moving it to 65 is probably on the books, I would say,” he predicted.

An increase in the preservation age would only be supported by Taxpayers Australia if it was part of a broader superannuation change, Mr Agland said.

“We would need to look at what else they are looking at doing, and there are things around taxing higher income earners that they probably need to look at as well, not just look at the preservation age,” Mr Agland said.

“I know a lot of people will be unhappy with the change to the preservation age, but it is the only way they are going to make it affordable in the future, I think.”

An Institute of Public Accountants spokesperson also told SMSF Adviser if the pension age is going up, it is logical that the preservation age should keep in step. 

"However, the IPA believes that the preservation age should be a part of a broader debate around retirement income."

Hockey hints at changes to super
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