27 September 2016
Super – We must aspire to more
Australia is a wealthy nation and we are proud of our lifestyle, beautiful country and so many achievements.
But do we really aspire to the simple view that as many people as possible should be able to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in retirement? If we don’t, what retirement can people really look forward to?
Right now the Australian Government is consulting about the fundamental objective of the superannuation system and this objective is going to be enshrined in law*. If there was ever a time to take an interest in super, now is it.
The proposed legislated objective is simply that superannuation should provide income in retirement to substitute or supplement the age pension.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia interim CEO Jim Minto said people need to take a really strong interest as the legislated objective will define how future governments treat super.
“The objective shapes how much future governments will provide in the form of the age pension together with incentives for people to save for their retirement,” he said.
“We know that with tight budget positions in the future, the government won’t be able to afford to provide a basic pension to ensure a comfortable and dignified retirement for Australians. It isn’t enough now for most people and it’s likely to be even less so in the years ahead, but Australians should aspire to more.
“ASFA wants the legislated objective of superannuation to enable as many people as possible to enjoy a comfortable standard of living in retirement.
“By setting a comfortable standard of living as the goal, future governments will look to encourage all Australians, not just the wealthy, to save more for their post-work years.
“This is an issue for people to get involved in. It is far too important to be left purely for politicians to decide, with limited public involvement.
“It is un-Australian for today’s politicians to settle on an inadequate objective for super that restricts its purpose to merely substituting or supplementing the age pension.
“We urge people to take a strong interest in this important issue for themselves and future generations.
“What we set in law now will be hard to change later and Australians are perfectly right to expect a comfortable and dignified standard of living in retirement.”
*The Commonwealth Government released for public consultation the exposure draft legislation and regulations for some superannuation measures announced in the 2016/17 Budget on 7 September 2016.
For further information, please contact:
Teresa Mullan, Media Manager, 0451 949 300.
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, which aims to advance effective retirement outcomes for members of funds through research, advocacy and the development of policy and industry best practice.