New FSC boss Sally Loane has called on the government to maintain favourable tax treatment for "all members of superannuation funds" in its much-anticipated tax white paper.
In her first speech for the Financial Services Council at a luncheon in Sydney yesterday, Ms Loane acknowledged that the tax treatment of superannuation should be "on the agenda" for the government – but not in isolation.
Ms Loane framed her comments by stressing the objective of superannuation: to "deliver a sustainable retirement for Australians and reduce reliance on the age pension".
New research commissioned by the FSC and performed by GFK shows 56 per cent of Australians expect to take an age pension upon retirement, Ms Loane said.
"This is a high ratio when you consider Australia has had almost a quarter of a century of compulsory superannuation which needs to replace the pension," she said.
"We need to significantly shift remaining expectations that the age pension is an entitlement which is available to all," Ms Loane said.
"Our system must maintain favourable tax treatment for all members of superannuation funds to ensure people are incentivised to save – if not, they will invest in other low tax or tax-free vehicles, like the family home," she said.
Encouragingly, the number of people who expect to access the age pension upon retirement reduces among younger cohorts, Ms Loane said.
"This significant reduction in expectations shows younger Australians may well be aware of the fiscal reality about to be presented in the Intergenerational Report," she said.
Only 32 per cent of younger Australians believe the role of superannuation is to supplement the age pension, Ms Loane said.
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