The Gillard Government is today pleased to announce a new Superannuation Roundtable to consider ideas raised at the Tax Forum for providing Australians with more options in retirement and improving certain superannuation concessions.
Our superannuation system is based on the foundation of compulsory savings, supported by concessional tax treatment, with the aim of ensuring that more Australians have adequate savings in retirement.
The Government is already implementing important reforms to make superannuation concessions fairer for low-income earners and improve the adequacy and equity of the retirement income system. These include increasing the superannuation guarantee, introducing the low income superannuation contribution, abolishing the age limit on the superannuation guarantee, and providing Australians with access to low-cost funds through MySuper.
At the recent Tax Forum there was further discussion about building on these reforms by giving retirees more options in the drawdown (or 'post-retirement') phase, and about better ways to target and more efficiently deliver current concessions.
The Superannuation Roundtable will progress these ideas by bringing together representatives of the superannuation industry, small business, employees and the community sector, as well as technical experts and academics.
The first stage of work for the Roundtable will discuss and examine better ways to target and deliver certain concessions. The Roundtable will need to consider offsetting savings from within the superannuation system for any proposals that have a budget cost.
As part of this initial work, the Roundtable will consider compliance cost issues raised by the superannuation industry in relation to the new higher concessional contributions cap for individuals aged 50 and over who have less than $500,000 in superannuation.
The Roundtable will subsequently examine proposals to expand options in the drawdown phase, like annuities and deferred annuities, as well as appropriate offsetting savings.
We expect this work to be completed by December 2012.
The Roundtable will be chaired by the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, the Hon. Bill Shorten MP.
The work of the Roundtable will build on the significant superannuation reforms announced by the Government as part of its Stronger, Fairer, Simpler package of tax reforms. These include:
The Government's reforms to boost retirement incomes are part of a broader suite of reforms to strengthen and broaden Australia's economy. These include over 30 individual reforms originating from the Australia's Future Tax System Review, including resource taxation reform making possible higher retirement savings for all Australian workers and tax relief for Australia's 2.8 million small businesses.
Also arising from last year's Tax Forum, the Government has established the Business Tax Working Group to look at how our tax system can best help businesses increase productivity and respond to the pressures of a changing economy.
The membership of the Superannuation Roundtable will be:
The Hon. Bill Shorten MP (Chair)
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation
School of Risk and Actuarial, University of New South Wales
Chief Executive Officer, Financial Services Council
Chairman, Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians
Executive Director, The Australia Institute
Business School, University of Western Australia
Dr Cassandra Goldie
Chief Executive Officer, Australian Council of Social Service
Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Actuaries Australia
President, Australian Council of Trade Unions
Chief Executive Officer, Financial Planning Association of Australia
Chief Executive Officer, Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees
Chief Executive Officer, SMSF Professionals' Association of Australia
Executive Director, Council of Small Business of Australia
Chief Executive, Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia
Chief Executive, Industry Super Network
Australian Association of Women in Super
Representative of the Joint Accounting Bodies