Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has declared the federal government’s work on the tax structure of the Australian retirement savings system is now complete and no further changes in this area will be made.
Speaking at the Tax Institute National Superannuation Conference in Sydney recently, O’Dwyer told delegates: “I’m pleased to report today that the coalition has done the job that we needed to do on the taxation of superannuation. That job has been finished and legislated and we have no further plans.”
She explained the reform legislation passed in November 2016 would improve the sustainability, flexibility and integrity of the system.
“The measures ensure that superannuation taxation concessions are well targeted and balance the need to encourage people to save to become self-sufficient in retirement and the need to ensure long-term sustainability,” she said.
The Minister warned the same stability for the retirement savings taxation regime now declared by the government could not be guaranteed by other political parties.
“Labor has admitted that their superannuation policy will cost superannuants an additional $1.4 billion, while according to the Greens, their so-called progressive superannuation taxation plan would seek to extract up to $11 billion in taxes over four years,” she said.
She added these measures would only be the beginning.
According to O’Dwyer, the taxation aspect of the super reforms was not the only significant initiative implemented recently by the government. She cited improving the flexibility contained in the system as another important element.
“We introduced concessional catch-up contributions from 1 July 2018 along with the abolition of the 10 per cent rule. These are important changes that have already been widely applauded for helping people, including women with lower superannuation balances, to catch up with their male counterparts,” she said.
To this end, O’Dwyer again warned the same level of flexibility could not be guaranteed by the other political parties.
“[Opposition leader] Bill Shorten has declared that under Labor’s policy they will restrict the ability of small business people, mothers who have taken time out of the workforce and older Australians with lower balances, to name just a few, to be able to boost their retirement savings,” she said.