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ALP pledges to address retrospectivity

Rear view of a road from side mirror.

Retrospective changes a priority for government.

The federal opposition has promised to address the retrospective nature of the proposed changes to the superannuation system contained in the 2016 budget.

Speaking at the Financial Services Council Leaders Summit 2016 in Melbourne, Labor treasury spokesman Chris Bowen said: “We remain and will remain deeply concerned and opposed to aspects of retrospectivity, as do several members of the Liberal Party, and as a matter of urgency the government should resolve this matter of their policy.

“We will work constructively with the Prime Minister and the Treasurer to ensure that changes to superannuation are not retrospective, to make sure that changes to poorly targeted superannuation concessions, particularly to the top end, are done in a careful, considered and constructive way.”

Bowen clarified the Labor Party was not critical of the government revenue the proposed measures would raise, but instead was worried about the lack of process and consultation before the changes were announced and the retrospective nature of some of the amendments.

“We would be happy to work with the government on sensible changes which raise the same or similar quantum that the government has targeted, but which don’t affect the principle of non-retrospectivity and which are workable,” he said.

Once the current proposed modifications to superannuation had been legislated, he said the opposition would continue to push for the establishment of a council of superannuation custodians to oversee any future amendments to the system and help ensure a period of stability for the retirement savings framework.

“The government’s mismanagement of this process underlines why our proposal for a council of superannuation custodians, with changes made only on a five-year legislative timetable following a full consultation, is vital to instil more confidence in superannuation schemes going forward,” he noted.

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