The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has hit back at proposals from Liberal backbenchers to remove low income earners from the super system and ditch the superannuation guarantee increase to 12 per cent.
AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck said taking super away from low income earners would consign them to years of poverty in retirement and was a step backwards to the days when superannuation was a privilege granted only to company execs and career public servants.
“Every Australian deserves to be financially secure in their retirement which is why we have a universal super system,” Ms Scheerlinck said. “Calls to effectively remove low income earners from the super system have nothing to do with helping the less well-off and everything to do with saving the Government money.”
Ms Scheerlinck said even relatively small amounts of superannuation made a big difference to retirement outcomes.
“Well-paid Coalition MPs who receive super contributions of at least 15.4 per cent need to step out of their bubble and ask people what it is like to live on the Age Pension without any extra savings,” Ms Scheerlinck said.
Ms Scheerlinck said the legislated increase in the Superannuation Guarantee rate from 9.5% to 12% would improve the retirement outcomes for all working Australians and that any changes to the timetable would only serve to further undermine confidence in the superannuation system.
“The current debate and uncertainty surrounding the legislated timetable for increasing the Superannuation Guarantee rate is unhelpful for Australians trying to make retirement plans and only serves to undermine confidence in a superannuation system that is routinely rated as one of the best pension systems in the world,” she said.
“We need strong leadership from the Morrison Government to rule out further changes to the legislated timetable for increasing the Superannuation Guarantee rate and make it clear that superannuation is for everyone, not just the well-off,” Ms Scheerlinck said.
Media contact: Janet de Silva 0448 000 499
AIST is the peak body for the $1.4 trillion profit-to-member superannuation sector which includes industry, corporate and public-sector funds.