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Treasurer stipulates superannuation purpose

Three arrows and bullseye.

Industry reminded to maintain focus on superannuation targets.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has used his presentation at an industry conference to reinforce the federal government’s view on what the goal of the superannuation system is and how the current tax concessions within the system should not be used to achieve other objectives.

Speaking at the 2016 SMSF Association National Conference in February, Morrison said: “It is important for us to remember why superannuation exists. It is there to assist those with the means to do so to achieve better retirement income and at the same time reduce pressure on the age pension.

“It is not, as I said before, an estate planning vehicle. This is a very important point. It’s not there to be a tax-incentivised estate planning vehicle.”

The Treasurer went on to say providing for the next generation was important and a great achievement in itself, whether it was through building a business or purchasing a property.

“That’s something we choose to do. The taxpayer has said we’ll try and help you to make sure you’re independent in retirement,” he said.

“It’s not a tax incentive for estate planning.”

On a positive note for retirees, he pointed out the government’s opposition to introducing a tax that would apply to the drawdown phase of an individual’s life.

“One of our key drivers when we contemplate potential superannuation reforms is stability and certainty, especially in the retirement phase,” he explained.

“That is good for looking 30 years down the track and saying is superannuation a good idea for me.

“If they are going to change the rules at the other end, when you’re going to be living off it, then it’s understandable they might get spooked out of that as an appropriate channel for their investment.

“And that’s why I fear the approach of taxing in that retirement phase penalises Australians who have put money into superannuation under the current rules – under the deal that they thought was there.”

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