Push for practical outcome in superannuation roundtable

Key Points

  • The federal government’s new superannuation roundtable needs to achieve positive, practical outcomes in order be effective
  • The roundtable will include a number of industry experts, including a representative from the professional accounting bodies
  • One of the issues due to be discussed is the government’s proposal to raise the concessional contributions caps for those over 50 with super balances under $500,000, which the Institute says could be problematic.

The federal government’s new superannuation roundtable has the potential to achieve positive results for the Australian community, but needs to have a practical, outcomes-focused approach, according to the Institute.

The roundtable, formed as a result of discussions at the government’s Tax forum in October, will include a number of industry experts, including a representative from the professional accounting bodies, and is set to discuss a number of critical issues affecting the way Australians save for retirement.

The Institute’s Head of Superannuation, Liz Westover, says in order for the roundtable to be effective, it is critical that it focuses on real, practical outcomes that will benefit Australians saving for their retirement.

'Over the last couple of years, there has been a lot of consultation with the superannuation industry as part of the Cooper Review and Stronger Super reforms. While consultation is important, this roundtable needs to have a genuine, positive impact on the superannuation sector,' Ms Westover says.

One of the issues due to be discussed is the government’s proposal to raise the concessional contributions caps to $50,000 for individuals aged over 50 if their superannuation balance is less than $500,000.

Ms Westover says these measures would also add another layer to the already complicated rules of superannuation, and may expose more people to the risk of making inadvertent excess contributions and subsequently facing excess contributions tax.

Other issues the government has identified and will be discussed by the roundtable include:

  • The increase in the superannuation guarantee from 9% to 12%
  • A new low income superannuation contribution
  • The abolishment of the 70 year age limit on the superannuation guarantee.

'Now is the chance for the superannuation industry to address some of the ongoing inconsistencies in the superannuation sector and promote a more practical, simple system to enable Australians to best save for retirement,' Ms Westover says.

Article last updated 9 February 2012