The newly elected federal government will not reassess the taxation of retirement benefits through superannuation as part of its planned review of the Australian retirement savings system.
Speaking at the SMSF Association‘s SMSF + Investor Expo, Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology Jane Hume told attendees: “There is no appetite to do that at all. We made some quite significant reforms just before I was elected in 2016, we announced those reforms and enacted them soon after returning to parliament, and I think they were disruptive enough for retirees. I don’t think we need to go any further.”
Hume emphasised the review will look at how to create better efficiencies in the system, along with an increased level of competition, and how critical the process is with the super guarantee levy set to increase in the immediate future.
“I don’t think you can morally justify compulsorily quarantining more of people’s hard-earned money that they could spend today if you are not going to put it into an efficient system,” she said.
“So we need those efficiencies before we can justify increasing the superannuation guarantee.”
She added the time had also arrived for a proper examination of the retirement savings system at a macro level.
“We haven’t really done any analysis in the last 30 years of how the superannuation system interacts with the age pension, interacts with other asset classes or other wealth people might have, and that ageing population,” she noted.
“That’s what the retirement income review is all about and also what products we offer.”
She pointed out the concessional contributions caps could also come under scrutiny during the review.
“I would imagine that the review would probably consider the concessional contribution threshold,” she said.
“That was only changed quite recently, but I think it is probably worth a bit of a post-implementation review to see how that’s working out.
“Intuitively I think that $25,000 sounded a little low, but, that said, let’s do the review and see. I mean the name of the game is to get as many people independent in retirement as possible and in the most cost-efficient and expedient manner,” Hume said.
The speech at the SMSF + Investor Expo was the minister’s second address since being appointed to her new portfolio in May.