The government has introduced legislation that will create a formal objective of superannuation, with the key wording remaining unchanged from its initial proposal released earlier this year and carried into draft legislation in September.
A joint statement from Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones said: “The Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2023, which was introduced to parliament today, defines the objective of super as to preserve savings to deliver income for a dignified retirement, alongside government support, in an equitable and sustainable way.”
This definition was first put forward by Chalmers in February when he announced the government would move to create and enshrine an objective and was carried into the draft legislation released for consultation in September.
The two ministers said the objective would ensure superannuation provided a dignified retirement for Australians and keep policymakers accountable when making changes to the system, but also repeated the government’s plans to make super accessible for “nation- building” projects.
“Superannuation is a significant source of capital, contributes to the strength of our financial markets and there are opportunities to leverage superannuation investment in areas of national economic priority where it aligns with the best financial interests of members,” they said.
“Having a clear, legislated objective of super will help ensure these broader benefits can be maximised.”
The SMSF Association reiterated its backing for the objective, stating it has long supported its introduction.
“We think it’s a good idea that we all have a shared understanding of what we are trying to achieve and, by making policymakers more accountable when considering changes to the superannuation rules, it will help to build confidence in the super system, which is critical when it comes to voluntary contributions and encouraging individuals to contribute more to their superannuation,” the industry body said.