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More super changes under Labor: Bowen

Opposition Treasury spokesperson Chris Bowen

Chris Bowen confirms more super tinkering.

Opposition treasury spokesman Chris Bowen has confirmed more significant changes to the nation’s retirement savings framework will occur, in addition to the change in the treatment of imputation credits for individuals in retirement but not receiving the age pension, should Labor win the next federal election.

Speaking at the latest Financial Services Council (FSC) BT Financial Group Political Series Breakfast in Sydney today, Bowen announced the proposed policies of taxing income in retirement over a $75,000 threshold and imposing a 30 per cent tax on contributions for individuals with incomes in excess of $250,000 under Labor’s Fairer Super Plan would stand despite the super reforms introduced in the 2016 budget by the current government.

It has been suggested these moves would be shelved considering the super reforms had already potentially made the retirement savings system fairer, which is what Labor was advocating via its super policy.

“We announced our original superannuation policy in February 2015. The government railed against us and said they wouldn’t touch it. Then in their budget they adopted elements of what we’d done, but they also did other things which we wouldn’t have done, but we acknowledged they came a long way towards our position,” Bowen noted.

“We at that point announced those other two policies and said we think these are legitimate and appropriate thresholds, and that they are our policy to go just that little touch further would be a fair characterisation.”

In response to these comments, FSC chief executive Sally Loane said: “So those two other policies will stay and that does mean a fair bit of tinkering to super when you get in [to government].”

Bowen pointed out Labor felt these are necessary changes and said they would be the last taxation amendments to the superannuation system his party would make.

Priorities for Labor after these modifications would be gender equality issues, increasing the super guarantee levy and establishing the Superannuation Council of Custodians, he noted.

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