Regulation, Retirement, Superannuation

Call for stability in super election policies

A self-funded retiree representative body has called on all political parties to end the cycle of change to superannuation, claiming the absence of a bipartisan approach has removed all confidence in the system.

The Association of Independent Retirees (AIR) made the call today as it released its election policy priorities, stating “self-funded retirees and those planning their retirement are extremely angry and frustrated at a number of the changes to superannuation and retirement savings made or proposed over the last 10 years”.

“These ongoing changes have eroded the principle of stability and certainty and affects plans they have already made over many years,” the AIR said.

“The long-held principle of grandfathering superannuation and retirement rules to protect those who are in or are approaching retirement has been undermined such that many future retirees have no confidence in the superannuation system.”

In its priorities document, the body was critical of the lack of agreement between government, opposition and cross-bench members in federal parliament in the areas of superannuation, tax and retirement.

As a result of this, it stated successive governments had failed to adequately support retirees by restricting benefits or changing rules for those they had committed to support.

Association acting president Wayne Strandquist said there were more than 1.9 million Australians aged 65 years and over who self-fund their retirement and the ongoing impact on their established income streams may force some of them back onto government support in the later years of their retirement.

“With just under 2 million retirees who partly or fully self-fund their retirement, the greater majority are not wealthy and find it difficult to make ends meet when interest rates are at all-time lows, superannuation returns averaging around 2 per cent in 2018, rising living costs and the prospect of increased taxes for retirees,” Strandquist said.

“All retirees, who partly or fully fund their retirement, seek is a fair go and some independence in managing their lives, their health and their retirement savings.”

Other policies the AIR has called for the next government to support include:

  • no more fiddling with superannuation and retirement savings,
  • reduce the minimum superannuation drawdown percentage for those over 75 years,
  • self-employed workers or those with no superannuation should be able to transfer a capped value of their assets to superannuation with capital gains tax (CGT) exemption,
  • the gradual increase of compulsory super contributions by employers from 9.5 per cent to 12 per cent,
  • retain the existing non-concessional contribution cap of $100,000 a year,
  • retain the super catch-up provisions,
  • retain the existing payment of share dividend franking credit refunds,
  • retain the existing CGT discount of 50 per cent on sale of investment assets,
  • retain the existing negative gearing arrangements on pre-owned investment properties, and
  • retain the current taxation arrangements for discretionary (family) trusts.

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