AUSTRALIA - Australia's Superannuation industry has criticised Tony Abbott's coalition party for failing to release a substantive pensions policy just hours before the General Election.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) and the Financial Services Council (FSC) said in a joint statement that a failure to increase the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) to 12%, the failure to raise the concessional caps for individuals over 50 and the failure to provide a super tax contribution rebate for low-income earners would have a significant adverse impact on the future wellbeing of Australian workers.
Ahead of this weekend's election battle between Abbott's coalition party and Julia Gillard's (pictured) Labor party, ASFA CEO Pauline Vamos said that the majority of Australian voters are also superannuation fund members and would be disappointed that the coalition's only plan for superannuation is the promise of more reviews and delays.
"The coalition's costings document highlights bottom line savings at the expense of Australian workers' retirement benefits. Early investment in superannuation provides huge benefits for individuals and the Australian economy as whole," said Vamos.
The super bodies said the gradual increase of the SG to 12% would see super accounts boosted for average workers by A$110,000 and aggregate national retirement savings up by half a trillion dollars, the super bodies said.
AIST CEO Fiona Reynolds said that superannuation plays crucial roles across the economy including alleviating the long term challenges of an ageing society, enlarging the nation's savings pool and keeping Australia's financial sector well resourced with access to a ready made pool of capital.
Superannuation also played a central role in cushioning the economy from the worst effects of the global financial crisis, she added.
FSC CEO John Brogden said research commissioned by the FSC shows that current prospective level of retirement incomes in Australia is low by international standards with a A$695bn gap between current retirement savings and what is needed to deliver the minimum adequate level of incomes in retirement.
Vamos said Australians take superannuation very seriously and look to the industry to provide them with comfort and financial stability in retirement.
Results of recent polls reveal that almost 90% of working Australians believe the government made a good decision in increasing the SG from 9% to 12%.
The results were especially stark amongst women on middle to low incomes and younger people whose support for increasing the SG is almost universal.
Investors, driven by depressed interest rates, slower global economic growth and rich equity market valuations are examining non-traditional investment opportunities.
The registration deadline for the Workplace Savings & Benefits Awards 2019 is today.
This week's top stories were the DWP giving the green light to CDC and TPR granting extensions for 11 master trust authorisation applications.
Susan Martin says building strong foundations for business are the only way forward as the pensions industry is radically shaken up