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Contribution limits to fall again under Labor

The Labor Party has stated it will definitely change the superannuation contributions rules, such as reducing the super contributions caps, if it wins the next federal election.

Speaking at the Financial Services Council BT Financial Group Political Series Breakfast in Sydney yesterday, Labor Senator Kristina Keneally outlined the exact areas her party would be amending with regard to contributions if it won back government.

“In 2016 we made it clear that we will oppose the government’s measure to allow catch-up concessional contributions and tax deductibility for personal superannuation contributions,” Keneally said.

“We will also lower the annual non-concessional contributions cap to $75,000 and further lower the high-income super contribution threshold to $200,000.”

According to Keneally, these changes will make the current system fairer.

Despite intending to scrap the ability to roll forward unused concessional contributions, a move widely recognised as one to help bridge the gender gap in retirement savings, opposition treasury spokesman Chris Bowen revealed at the same event the ALP was looking at several different plans to tackle the gender inequality issue, but would not confirm whether legislating that super guarantee payments be made for women on maternity leave was one of them.

“We’re looking at all sorts of options. The gender retirement income gap really annoys me and really drives me as a policy agenda,” Bowen said.

“The income gap through the working life compounds for reasons we all understand and gets worse and leads to far too many women retiring into poverty and we shouldn’t accept that.

“There are all sorts of policy mechanisms which are floating around, none of which in and of themselves will fix the problem, but all of which could make a contribution to find the best value way of doing that.

“We’ve been working through that. What we don’t do is come out one day and say ‘voila, we’ve got the solution to this problem we haven’t told you about before’.

“With all these things we’ve talked about the problem as well as the solution and that means ideas come forward.”

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