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No new taxes on superannuation, for now

Close-up of hands shuffling a pack of cards

Possibility of new taxes still on the cards.

The federal government kept its promise that there would be no new taxes on superannuation in this year’s budget, however, the Financial Planning Association (FPA) warned it might not be long before the situation changed.

“There will be no new taxes on superannuation under this government,” Treasurer Joe Hockey said in his budget address to parliament.

FPA general manager of policy and conduct Dante De Gori told selfmanagedsuper it was welcome news as there was some uncertainty around the possibility of new taxes being implemented.

“The government held its promise to not make adverse changes to super and while there were some minor ones there, they were quite good,” De Gori said, pointing to early access to retirement savings as a result of terminal illness being one of them.

“We welcome the process of the superannuation system being discussed through the current tax discussion paper, which will allow the system to be reviewed on its own merits, rather than allowing it to be tinkered with for the sake of debts and deficits in the budget.”

Despite the good news that superannuation at this point in time would be left alone, it was not a given the government would keep its promise, he said, pointing to the outcome of the tax white paper in combination with a pending federal election having the potential to impact on that.

“What I’ll say is I don’t think we’ve heard the end of it,” he said.

“I agree it wasn’t in the budget and the government has kept its promise, but whether they look to tinker with superannuation before the next election is another question.

“I don’t think they will make any announcements, but they might make proposals which could be implemented if they get elected.”

Meanwhile, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia said the community would be happy the government had kept its promise to not make any unexpected, detrimental changes to superannuation, at least in this parliamentary term.

Financial Services Council chief executive Sally Loane said it was the first budget in recent memory where there had been no tinkering with superannuation.

“The government has exercised prudence in keeping changes to superannuation out of the budget cycle and putting them into the broader and more sustainable policy agenda,” Loane said.

It was good news that changes to super would be part of the tax white paper in the context of developing a national retirement policy, she said.

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