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Superannuation

Bigger role for super under Labor

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Superannuation is likely to play a bigger role in the nation’s economy should Labor win the federal election to be held later this year.

Labor financial services spokesman Stephen Jones has revealed the ALP’s intention to have superannuation play a larger role in Australian society should it win the federal election this year.

Speaking at a recent industry function, Jones told attendees: “We think we can be deploying superannuation funds in the interest of the members who own the funds, but also in the national interest.

“We think government has a role to play, there is plenty of capital around, but the government doesn’t have to be putting its own [money] up and shouldn’t.

“But we do have an important role to play in ensuring that, particularly in the infrastructure sector, there is still flow ensuring that we have the capacity in certain strategic markets. We’d be one of the only countries in the world that wasn’t doing it if we let this opportunity go by.

“So we think there is an important role in government working with industry to create investment opportunities, not with taxpayers’ money, in ensuring the national interest and the interests of the owners of those superannuation funds.”

However, he pointed out Labor was not in favour of imposing any dictate on exactly how people’s retirement savings should be spent.

To this end, he criticised the Your Future, Your Super legislation for containing an element of this exact nature.

“The directions power that was included in the Your Future, Your Super legislation, can you imagine if Labor did that? Included within a bill the power to direct a bank and insurance company and a superannuation fund how it could or couldn’t invest its funds. Forced divestment,” he said.

“This is just capricious. It’s ideological, it’s ill-conceived and it’s got to stop.”

To this end, he called for greater transparency in the formulation of legislation, which should include greater engagement with the financial services and superannuation industry.

He also took the opportunity to praise the role retirement savings had played in providing financial support during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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