Super earmarked for single purpose

superannuation retirement purpose

The government has declared its commitment to have the superannuation system provide for people’s comfortable retirement only.

Assistant Treasurer and Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones has confirmed the federal government is committed to ensuring the current superannuation system is used for the purpose of providing sufficient retirement savings for the majority of Australians and nothing else.

In making the statement, Jones stipulated the government was not against having people contribute as much as they possible can to their superannuation funds when expressing concerns over certain SMSFs with very large member balances.

“We’re not saying to people you shouldn’t put as much money away in retirement as possible. We’re not saying you should not bequest a generous amount of money for your kids or your grandkids or your favourite animal shelter or whatever it is. We’re not saying that,” he affirmed during a speech at an industry function held late last year.

“We’re just asking the question: what is the role of the superannuation system in assisting you doing it?

“If you want to leave a huge estate to your kids, great. And if you want to have an enormous balance to support you in your retirement, great. We believe in self-support, we believe people looking after their retirement affairs, but the question has to be asked: how much of that is the role of the superannuation system and how much should the taxation system support you in meeting those objectives?”

He would not specify what the government considered a sufficient superannuation asset balance before tax concessions would cease to be available and assured the audience it was not looking to be antagonistic with any review of the system.

“I actually don’t see it as picking a fight. We’re not starting from the proposition of where is a fight to be had and let’s go and have it. We’re starting from the proposition about what is right,” he noted.

“We haven’t got a set of crosshairs, but there are some distortions in the system that just don’t look right and they’re costing the budget significant amounts of money.”

During the same session, he revealed the government is intending to reassess the current tax concessions embedded in the retirement savings system after concerns over 32 SMSFs with member balances over $100 million.


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