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Government to ‘shift’ focus of super reform

Government to ‘shift’ focus of super reform

Taylee Lewis
— 1 minute read

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has said the Turnbull government is committed to enshrining the "purpose" of the superannuation system and plans to evaluate the retirement phase. 

Speaking at the 2015 ASFA Conference in Brisbane last week, Treasurer Scott Morrison said that the Liberal government would shift its focus to superannuation reform. 

Mr Morrison said that at present, governance reform, transparency and choice of fund was front of mind – but going into next year the focus would be on the objective of the super system and the retirement phase of superannuation.

“Next year, we'll shift that a little towards enshrining the objective of the superannuation system and the retirement phase of superannuation,” he said.

“That will not only inspire confidence in the system, it will also provide a valuable yardstick against which to measure competing superannuation policy proposals.

“On top of that, it also helps guide policymakers, industry and the broader community about the real purpose of superannuation,” Mr Morrison said.

Understanding the purpose of superannuation, Mr Morrison pointed out, is a “vital” part of policy change, particularly in regards to the taxation of super.

“In considering any changes to superannuation, it's important to remember that the tax treatment of superannuation has to be seen in the wider context of retirement income,” he added.

“On one hand, we might want to reduce reliance on the age pension but, on the other, this comes at a cost to government by way of providing tax concessions as an incentive to lock money away in super.

“As a government, we want to be very sure that superannuation tax concessions are appropriately targeted so that they secure an adequate retirement income for Australians,” Mr Morrison said.

Although Mr Morrison did not mention any increase in the taxes on super, Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann has previously denied the possibility.

Mr Cormann told Sky News Australian Agenda earlier in the year, that "unlike the Labour party, we don’t have any plans to increase taxes on superannuation”.

Mr Morrison concluded that superannuation needs to be looked at in the context of the broader economy. 

“Could the costs of providing superannuation tax concessions, for example, be directed elsewhere in the economy to make it work more efficiently? Could they, for instance, be directed to tax cuts elsewhere, to encourage participation, productivity and growth?

“These are important questions for all of us as we think about the future of our superannuation system,” Mr Morrison said.

 

Government to ‘shift’ focus of super reform
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