The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Peter Costello

Peter Costello

Treasurer

11 March 1996 - 3 December 2007

Media Release of 09/08/2006

NO.084

COMPLETION OF CONSULTATION ON THE GOVERNMENT’S PLAN TO SIMPLIFY AND STREAMLINE SUPERANNUATION

The consultation period on the Australian Government’s plan to simplify and streamline superannuation closes today.

The Treasurer thanks all individuals, businesses and organisations who participated in the consultation process.

There has been strong interest and support for the plan. The Government has to date received more than 1500 written submissions and more than 3500 calls from across the community as part of the exhaustive three-month consultation process. Government officials also met with representatives of the superannuation industry and related bodies from across Australia.

Remarkably, missing from the correspondence from 1500-plus businesses, individuals and organisations is any submission from the Labor Party.

The Labor Party’s inaction on this issue demonstrates an appalling lack of interest in a major policy initiative that will simplify and streamline superannuation for all Australians.

In the three months since the policy was announced, Labor has been unable to decide if it will support or oppose it.

The Government’s plan represents the most significant reform of the taxation of Australia’s superannuation system in decades. It will potentially affect over 10 million individuals, 1.3 million employers and more than 310,000 superannuation funds.

The plan would sweep away the current raft of complex tax arrangements, improve retirement incomes and increase incentives to work and save.

A key plank of the plan is to reduce complexity and increase certainty by removing benefits tax for Australians aged 60 and over who have already paid tax on their superannuation contributions and earnings.

Other key changes proposed in the plan are:

  • the abolition of reasonable benefit limits and age-based contribution limits,
  • greater flexibility for individuals as to how and when they wish to draw on their superannuation in retirement are all measures that will increase incentives for Australians to work and save;
  • benefits for the self-employed who would be able to claim a full deduction for their superannuation contributions and be eligible for the Government co-contribution for their personal post-tax contributions; and
  • changes to the pension assets test and a reduction to the current pension taper rate that will increase the eligibility of retirees for the age pension eligibility and create appropriate incentives for individuals to save for retirement.

The Government is considering all the submissions and comments it has received. The final details of the plan will be announced in the near future to provide more certainty in the new arrangements.

Those who are yet to make a submission are encouraged to do so as soon as possible to ensure that their views can be considered.

Public submissions on the Government’s plan will be available on http://simplersuper.treasury.gov.au

CANBERRA
Wednesday, 9 August 2006

Contact: Renae Stoikos
02 6277 7340