AUSTRALIA - The Labor party must rule out re-introducing a 15% tax on superannuation payouts in order to maintain Australia's economic growth, assistant treasurer Peter Dutton has claimed.
A group of five left wing unions - described by Dutton as “the power and the pennies” behind Labor – last week called for the tax on super payouts to be reinstated and added failure to do so would “weaken the traditional pension safety net for retired workers”.
And the fact Labor had yet to rule out such a move raised the ire of Dutton, who said they had missed repeated opportunities to do so.
"Shadow Treasurer Wayne Swan today delivered a speech to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, outlining Labor’s future policy directions to enhance Australia’s superannuation system… but not once in his speech did he deny the 15% tax on end benefits would re-introduced," Dutton said.
"This follows the failure of [opposition leader] Kevin Rudd to knock this idea on its head as soon as it was announced by the unions in the media.
"It has now been seven days, and still Rudd can’t say whether or not he will simply say ‘no’ to the unions on a tax on super payouts."
Dutton claimed Australia’s ageing population was a serious threat to future economic stability, and removal of the tax had encouraged people to save for their own retirement."
"This is the sort of economic management that will maintain Australia’s economic growth," he said.
The top stories this week were the High Court's decision to block the £12bn annuity transfer from Prudential to Rothesay Life, and a separate court ruling that 'raises the bar' for pension rectification exercises.
Guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) equalisation has soared to the top of pension schemes' to-do lists, with 58% stating it is a priority project, research from Equiniti has revealed.
Professional Pensions is holding its defined contribution (DC) conference on 4 September.