AUSTRALIA - The Australian government's initiative to build on the superannuation system to encourage young people to save for a home has been welcomed by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA).
The First Home Saver Accounts (FHSA), a key Labor election promise, will allow potential first home buyers to access similar tax breaks on their first home savings as superannuation.
Vamos said: "While ASFA's focus is on the adequacy of retirement incomes and the contribution that saving through superannuation can make to this, we recognise that being a home owner significantly improves a person's retirement outcome."
ASFA research has shown that a typical person makes minimal additional contributions to superannuation in their early to mid working life and significant top-ups in the last ten years.
Vamos said it would be stretching reality to expect people to both save for a home and put extra contributions into super.
But she added: "Saving for the home deposit may encourage a savings habit that could ultimately improve the person's retirement outcome."
Federal treasurer Wayne Swan said Australians saving for their first home would attract a government contribution equivalent to a 15% discount on their marginal tax rate.
He said: "For example, from 1 July 2008, a couple each earning average incomes and saving for their first home [by] putting aside 10% of their incomes will be able to save a deposit of more than $85,000 (US$77,202), after five years of disciplined savings."
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