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Long-term, holistic approach to superannuation policy needed: ASFA

Media Release 17 May 2013

17 May 2013

Long-term, holistic approach to superannuation policy needed: ASFA

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) is urging policy makers to take a long-term, holistic approach when it comes to policies which dictate the future of Australia’s superannuation system.

Responding to the Coalition’s announcement that if elected it will move to delay the increase in the Superannuation Guarantee, ASFA CEO Ms Pauline Vamos says it’s important all policy decisions are made with the overarching goal of ensuring every Australian has adequate income for a comfortable retirement.

“Increasing the Superannuation Guarantee is a crucial step towards achieving this. We have long been strong supporters of the increase to 12 per cent and will continue to advocate for the guarantee to proceed as legislated.”

“However discussions and debate about the future of Australia’s retirement incomes policy need to be had in a much broader context and with input from industry, stakeholders and the broader community. This is why we have launched a White Paper this week to start a conversation with all Australians about how they want their retirement to look in the future and the policies required to achieve it.”

“Superannuation is just one part of this puzzle. The role of other factors such as aged care, health care and access to the Age Pension must also be considered when contemplating the system’s design.”

Ms Vamos says with an ageing population placing additional demands on government budgets into the future, it’s crucial to start planning now for how the system will adjust to accommodate these demographic changes.

“Pulling one or two levers in the system will not deliver people the lifestyle in retirement that they deserve. Instead we need to take a holistic approach aimed at future proofing the system against the challenges posed by the changing nature of Australia’s population.”

“What the community doesn’t want to see is more and more short-term tweaks to the system, which ultimately undermine their confidence and make it difficult for people to plan for their post-work years with some certainty.”

“The policy decisions made today will have an impact on the lifestyle of all Australians in retirement so this is not a conversation industry and government can have just with themselves. We need to build a national consensus on how Australia’s superannuation system will look in the future, drawing on feedback and ideas from a broad range of stakeholders in the community.”

“Let’s take the politics out of super and move towards a bipartisan approach to delivering comfort and dignity to all Australians in retirement,” Ms Vamos concluded.

This week ASFA launched White Paper as part of the start of a three-month consultation process regarding the future of Australia’s superannuation system. Further information regarding the consultation process is available at www.superannuation.asn.au/vision-for-super.

Submissions can also be lodged via this link which will remain open until 14 August 2013. The outcomes of the consultation process will be launched at the ASFA Conference in November 2013.

For further information, please contact:

Lisa Chikarovski, Media Manager, 0451 949 300

About ASFA

ASFA is the peak policy, research and advocacy body for Australia’s superannuation industry. It is a not-for-profit, sector-neutral, and non-party political national organisation whose aim is to advance effective retirement outcomes for members of funds through research, advocacy and the development of policy and industry best practice.

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