Industry Super Australia has raised transparency concerns and warned the Retirement Income Review might be used as a “stalking horse” to erode superannuation policy.
ISA has called for the immediate release of the RIR in order to test and verify its findings, saying that a draft was not circulated for stakeholder comment and relies on modelling using data that is not available to the public or external experts.
“The community knows that government faces a tough task, but we can’t have this review remaining hidden or used as part of a secret plan for super to create an Australia where there are those that can have a dignified retirement and those that can’t,” said ISA chief executive Bernie Dean. “Super is already a great economic leveller for most Australians but we need to do more to avoid us ending up as a divided nation, with millions of women and low-income earners scraping by just on the aged pension.”
A Treasury spokesperson confirmed to Investor Daily that the report was due to be handed to the Treasurer this week, but it remains to be seen when the findings will be released.
ISA said the RIR panel should reject “dangerous proposals that allow low-income earners to opt out of super” as well as attempts to “raid” super in order to pay for house deposits or mortgages, which it believes will only further erode retirement savings that have already been hit hard by COVID-19 and the early access scheme.
“The report has an opportunity to build on the successful super system with sensible evidence-based reform that helps provide members with a dignified retirement, addresses entrenched inequalities and tackles underperformance while strengthening the default system,” ISA said. “If used as a stalking horse to erode the policies that underpin the system – compulsion, preservation, universality and a strong default system – workers’ retirement savings and the economy will suffer.”
ISA is demanding that the legislated increase to the superannuation guarantee to go ahead, warning that 8 million Australians would be worse off if the increase were cut, as well as calling for the abolition of the $450 monthly threshold on super and the removal of underperforming funds from the system.
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