The Labor Party has reiterated it has assigned the $3.5 trillion currently held in superannuation accounts to play a significant role in its economic policy should it win government in the May federal election.
“Every country around the world faced with economic challenges, what [they] would really like to have is trillions of dollars of available capital to invest in productivity to get investment growing again in a broad, strong way in our economy,” opposition treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers said in a video address to delegates at the SMSF Association National Conference 2022 being held in Adelaide.
“We have that clearly in superannuation and the fact that this year is the 30th anniversary of compulsory super I think is a good reminder really of the vast opportunity that we have before us as we deal with our economic challenges and try and grab those economic opportunities and give us reason to be optimistic about the future.”
Further, Chalmers singled out the SMSF sector as one that can have a critical impact with regard to this policy agenda.
“SMSFs [account for] about a quarter of [the super] system, holding $877 billion in assets at the end of last year and that’s an increase of about $100 million over the 12 months preceding that,” he noted.
“[Also] we saw in 2021 the biggest increase in new funds since 2017/18. So it’s becoming more popular as well.
“And I run through those stats, not because you don’t know them already, but really as a reminder that you have an opportunity here to be a big, big part of the solution to some of our economic challenges.”
Even though Labor has identified the economic opportunity the pool of money accumulated in superannuation represents, Chalmers acknowledged Australia could not be complacent about these savings as demonstrated in the market volatility witnessed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.