Govt continues to foreshadow super changes

Govt continues to foreshadow super changes

The government has once again foreboded that a series of “interconnected reforms” are headed to the superannuation industry in the coming weeks.

Late last week, Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer said the government remains committed to delivering an “A-grade superannuation system” through a series of interconnected reforms.

First, Ms O’Dwyer reiterated the government’s intentions to focus on governance reform in the superannuation industry.

“The reality is that by clinging to an old set of governance rules, the superannuation industry is not only at risk of being left behind — it is being unfair to everyday Australians required to participate in our super system,” Ms O’Dwyer said.

“Right now, many super funds are out of step with many other parts of the economy,” she added.

“They are certainly out of step with other prudentially regulated sectors, such as banking and insurance, which are required to have a majority of independent directors.”

Ms O’Dwyer also flagged the imminent introduction of legislation in line with a pre-election promise to “improve transparency and comparability of information”.

“Transparency, through improved disclosure, is critical to the efficient operation of Australia’s market-based superannuation system. It improves understanding, awareness and engagement across the community,” she said.

Also, as has been widely reported, it is expected the government will soon finalise its view on tax arrangements in superannuation.

Earlier this month, Treasurer Scott Morrison said “hard decisions” lie ahead for the government, as it evaluates the purpose and effectiveness of super tax concessions.

“It’s great that people are saving for their own retirement. They do it in super and many other forms. But I believe they raise questions about the purpose of the concessions […]; certainly they boost retirement incomes to the extent that their absence would result in lower balances, arguably. However, what is less clear is where the concessions for high-income earners increase savings behaviour or relieve pressure on the age pension,” Mr Morrison said.

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Govt continues to foreshadow super changes
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