AUSTRALIA - Almost two thirds of Australian workers believe plans to increase the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) should be implemented sooner than the government intends, research suggests.
A survey by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) found 60% of respondents want the 0.25% rise to 12%, scheduled for 2013, to happen earlier.
Proposals for the increase had been linked to a reduction in corporations tax to offset the cost to business, with both rises dependent on the passage of a new tax on the mining industry. The mining tax was not passed before the August General Election however, leaving changes to the SG up in the air.
The survey also found 67% of respondents are concerned their superannuation savings will run out before they die, but only 39% agreed people should be required to purchase an income stream that lasts until death.
"This is the second year in a row that Australians have shown they have strong support for the SG increase," says ASFA CEO, Pauline Vamos.
"Having enough money to retire on remains a major concern, one that has increased since this survey was conducted last year. Respondents have ranked this the highest amongst other relative concerns, including meeting everyday expenses and paying for their mortgage."
Meanwhile, support for implementation of the Cooper Review recommendations was varied. Just under 40% of respondents would not support foregoing investment choice in return for slightly lower fees, but over 75% say employers should be required to use more efficient methods to pay super contributions.
"This shows that investment choice in super is important. But of course it is still important that the system caters for those who don't wish to set their own investment strategy," said Vamos.
Only 20% of respondents felt the current taxation treatment of super is fair with the main comments saying super is taxed too much, too often and in a complex way. Some 65% of respondents in total doubt the stability of super tax arrangements, with 36% indicating they believe tax arrangements will be quite different when they retire, and 29% believing they will be very different.
"This demonstrates the importance of stability and certainty for fund members to have confidence in the super system. We need bi-partisan support for this," added Vamos.
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