Retirement, Superannuation

Super objective shows government’s hand

Superannuation objective intentions

The government has revealed its true intentions toward the pool of retirement savings in its campaign to have the objective of super legislated.

Opposition financial services spokesman Stuart Robert has warned the SMSF sector the call to have the objective of superannuation enshrined in legislation has revealed the Albanese government’s real intentions for the retirement savings system.

“Under the cloak of the objective of super we’re now starting to see what the government’s priorities are. In what can only be described as a Sir Humphrey-esque 24-word statement about the objective of super, we’re now starting to see the first is the government’s purpose or industry funds’ purpose. It is not the purpose for Australians,” Robert told SMSF Association National Conference 2023 attendees in Melbourne today.

He also highlighted some inconsistencies in the objective for super the government has put forward.

“Labor’s purpose for super will, paradoxically and perversely, see a super fund own houses as an investment, but won’t let an Australian live in it unless they rent it,” he said.

“Your super fund can own your house with your money, but you can’t own your own house with super.”

According to Robert, Treasurer Jim Chalmers has been highly critical of the previous government’s decision to allow people to access their super during the COVID-19 pandemic for their own financial relief for a particular reason.

“He was critical. He believes [super fund members] weren’t able to determine what’s best for them with their money,” he said.

He suggested the same distrust of superannuants has been shown in Chalmers’ decision to include a super balance cap of $3 million in the current retirement savings framework.

“[This is] because the Treasurer believes he knows what’s best for everyone’s retirement and how much you should have. The arrogance is extraordinary,” he said

He emphasised politicians should never lose sight of who owns the $3.4 billion held in superannuation.

“It’s your money, it’s your plans for the future, your retirement, your choice, your decisions and government needs to set the framework and the rules and then needs to get out of the way,” he said.

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