While the budget measures are an “important step” towards achieving equity and sustainability in the superannuation system, Grattan Institute chief executive John Daley told SMSF Adviser that without additional significant shake-up, the long-term cost of the system will ultimately be unsustainable.
“This is a big stride in the right direction, but I’d be very surprised if it’s the last step on the road,” Mr Daley said.
“To have such a structural hole continuously, as it were, dragging on the income tax base suggests the system is unsustainable in the long run.
“Even with these reforms, super tax breaks will still overwhelmingly flow to high-income earners. And the long-term cost will remain unsustainable. Further changes will be needed in future.”
Mr Daley believes it’s likely the superannuation caps will continue to be tightened.
“This includes the amount you can put in before tax, the amount after tax and the amount that you can pay no tax on the earnings,” he said.
Further, he suggested the significant benefits currently afforded to small business owners may come under the chopping block in the future.
“At some stage I suspect the government is going to have to look at the provisions of small businesses that essentially allow you to tip the entirety of the capital gain that you’ve made out of the small business so that you wind up never paying tax on it,” Mr Daley said.
“It’s an obvious place to go. It’s one of those things where you can understand why it’s there to encourage small business… but do we really need a provision this generous, this large, with that big a cap, to encourage people to open small businesses and maintain numbers?”