Super changes must be ruled out

Superannuation changes

The federal opposition has called on the Labor government to resist making any changes to the superannuation system it is being encouraged to undertake.

Opposition treasury and financial services spokesman Stuart Robert has intimated more superannuation changes could be on the new Labor government’s agenda, despite comments it has made to the contrary.

Speaking at the recent Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand National SMSF and Financial Services Conference 2022, Robert said: “Prior to the last election the Labor government now, the government of Mr [Anthony] Albanese, said they’d make no changes to superannuation. In fact, the Treasurer [Jim Chalmers] has said the super wars are done, which would be great.

“Except we now have kite flying going on from this government that appears the super wars from their point of view aren’t done.”

To this end, he recognised the ALP has been discussing a range of issues it could be looking to act on both in the short and long term.

“This government is [flying] kites about capping fund balances, about freezing indexation of the transfer balance cap, about moving the Div 293 [additional tax on concessional contributions threshold] down from $250,000 to $200,000, lowering the concessional cap and, of course, changing the ability for self-managed super funds to incur debt, [that is], to borrow,” he said.

He acknowledged the Albanese government had ruled out making any of these changes in the budget set to be handed down tomorrow, but said this commitment has to be extended beyond this timeframe.

“The key thing for the Labor Party is that they need to rule out these changes full stop,” he said.

In order to do so, he suggested the government must push back against lobbying activities currently taking place.

“They’re being egged on by the usual suspects – The Australia Institute, the Grattan Institute, AIST (Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees), the ASFA (Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia) and others,” he noted.

Further, he said any changes to the retirement savings system could have consequences for the ALP’s political capital as well.

“This government needs to be under no illusions that if it seeks to move against any of those five areas it will be considered a substantial breach of faith to the Australian people and a substantial broken promise,” he noted.

The SMSF Association recently expressed similar sentiment for the government to build trust among the Australian public by honouring its pre-election promises.

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