The superannuation industry has welcomed the government's decision to resist 'tinkering' with Australia's retirement system in the 2015 federal Budget.
As expected, the 2015/2016 federal Budget includes a tightening of the asset test for the age pension – but there are no explicit changes to superannuation.
Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia chief executive Pauline Vamos applauded the Coalition for making no "unexpected, detrimental changes to superannuation in this parliamentary term".
Ms Vamos also welcomed measures that will help reunite Australians with their lost super, as well as changes to childcare that she said would make it easier for women to return to work.
The tightening of the age pension asset tests highlights the fact that people will need to ensure they have an adequate income to fund their post-retirement years, she said.
"Faced with growing public debt, governments need to make tough decisions about how they will support the next generation of retirees to fund their post-work years," Ms Vamos said.
But Industry Super Australia chief executive David Whiteley said the changes to the age pension rules could leave millions of middle-income Australians worse off unless there is an increase in the superannuation guarantee.
"For the majority of Australians the age pension and super are two sides of the same coin," he said.
"Changes to the pension assets test will require most Australians to save more in super or work longer," Mr Whiteley said.
Financial Services Council chief executive Sally Loane welcomed the Budget.
"This is the first Budget in recent memory where there has been no tinkering with superannuation. The government has exercised prudence in keeping changes to superannuation out of the Budget cycle and putting them into the broader and more sustainable policy agenda," Ms Loane said.
"The FSC has long been concerned that the stability of Australia’s retirement system has been undermined by over-generous eligibility rules which allow couples to own their own home, have over $1 million in assets and to receive the age pension.
"Pension reforms must be part of a national debate on a holistic national retirement policy. The age pension, superannuation and tax systems must be aligned to deliver fairer and better outcomes for Australia’s ageing community," Ms Loane said.
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