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Equity in superannuation: important background

Media Alert 20 April 2012

20 April 2012

Equity in superannuation: important background

In light of today’s calls for changes to superannuation tax concessions, ASFA would like to alert journalists to a recent analysis which shows the distribution of tax concessions is largely equitable.

Misconceptions that higher income earners are the greatest beneficiaries of tax concessions in super are based on old data (2005-2006). Since then, tighter contribution caps have been introduced and the level of assistance flowing to high-income earners has reduced considerably.

Recently legislated Government measures (including SG at 12 per cent and the low-income superannuation contribution payment) further increase the proportion of assistance flowing to low and middle-income earners.

The table below shows the current and impending government assistance for superannuation contributions by income range based on the year 2009-2010.

Taxable income 
range ($)
Marginal income 
tax rate
Current value of tax concession and 
(a) $m
% of current total tax concession and 
Value of impending total tax concession and government contributions 
(a) $m
% of impending total tax concession and government contributions
0 – 6,000 0% 192 1.5 210 1.4
6,001 – 37,000 15% 1.068 8.3 1,640 11.0
37,001 – 80,000 30% 4,662 36.4 5,732 38.3
80,001 – 180,000 38% 4,968 38.8 5,465 36.6
180,001+ 47% 1,905 14.9 1,905 12.7
All employees   12,797 100 14,953 100

The full paper, The equity of government assistance for retirement income in Australia, can be found on our website.

ASFA’s media release today responding to the Government’s consideration of reducing tax concessions in superannuation is also available online.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Pauline Vamos, CEO, 0433 169 342

Rebecca Glenn, GM Marketing and Communications, 0416 170 439

Megan McDougall, Media and Communications Coordinator, (02) 8079 0849

About ASFA – the voice of super

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia is the peak industry body representing the superannuation and retirement industry. ASFA is the only organisation that represents all types of superannuation funds (retail, industry, corporate and public sector) and associated service providers. ASFA members manage or advise on the bulk of the $1.3 trillion in superannuation assets as at September 2011. Its members represent over 90 per cent of the approximately 12 million Australians with superannuation.

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