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Time to limit super tax concessions

Independent Senator for the ACT David Pocock has thrown his support behind proposals to limit taxpayer funded concessions on multi-million dollar superannuation accounts and align super payments with the pay cycle.

“I welcome the government opening the door to superannuation reforms and urge them to take forward this conversation with the community and in the Parliament,” Senator Pocock said.

“At a time where we are constantly reminded of the growing pressures on the federal budget, I question whether the current structure of tax concessions is appropriate, given we spend more on them annually than the NDIS or the aged care system.

The Australia Institute estimates that the cost to the budget of tax concessions for super is $52.6 bn p.a. as compared to Stage 3 tax cuts at $20.1 bn, aged care at $27.1bn or the NDIS at $35.5 bn.

ATO data analysed by the Grattan Institute shows that the 79,590 people who have more than $2m in superannuation have the same total superannuation assets as the combined total balances of the bottom two-thirds of Australians.

“I’m not interested in attacking people’s super. Superannuation is an incredibly valuable tool to help meet Australians’ needs in retirement,” Senator Pocock.

“But what I do want to see is an end to generous tax concessions for superannuation accounts with multi-million dollar balances and the savings from that directed into other areas such as health and housing that are crying out for funding.

“This is a conversation the Coalition was prepared to have in 2016, I hope there’s room to continue that conversation this year.

“Fundamentally, this isn’t actually about retirement income, it’s about closing loopholes that allow Australia's most wealthy to pay less tax while they generate more wealth. 

“This is about finding fair and sensible ways to manage our federal budget.

“I am also really keen to see progress on reforms that will see people’s compulsory super contribution guarantee payments paid in line with pay cycles. There are ways to phase this in to ensure that small businesses have time to deal with the changes. 

“This will go a long way to tackling the massive issue of unpaid super that is disadvantaging so many people in our community.

“In the ACT alone unpaid superannuation stands at some $62 million for a single year.

“The Government has the support in the parliament, including the numbers in the Senate, to take on some of these reforms and I urge them to get on with it.”


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