The passage of four Bills through the Senate last night marks the completion of Labor's ambitious superannuation reform agenda.
The four Bills, Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Service Providers and Other Governance Measures) Bill 2013, Superannuation (Sustaining the Superannuation Contribution Concession) Imposition Bill 2013, Superannuation Laws Amendment (MySuper Capital Gains Tax Relief and Other Measures) Bill 2013, Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (Increased Concessional Contributions Caps and Other Measures) Bill passed the Senate late last night.
This completes some historic and hard fought reforms aimed at making the superannuation system more transparent, efficient and fairer by stripping away unfair and hidden fees, allowing those approaching retirement to top up their super when the markets are strong and they need it most, and capping tax concessions on super for wealthier Australians to make the system more sustainable for the future.
Labor's reforms in Government show we have been willing to negotiate pragmatic reforms necessary to safe guard the future of our world-class superannuation system, whilst staring down vested interests resistant to our necessary and future focused reforms.
Since being elected in 2007, Labor has:
- Passed legislation to increase superannuation from 9 to 12 per cent, beginning July 1 this year.
- Boosted the superannuation of 3.6 million Australians, including 2.1 million working women, by abolishing the 15 per cent tax paid on superannuation for those earning $37,000 or less.
- Increased concessional caps by $10,000 for people over 60 commencing 1 July this year, for people over 50 from 1 July next year.
- Abolished the upper age limit on universal super.
- Introduced a new scheme that enables Australians and New Zealanders to take their retirement savings with them across the Tasman when they move.
- Made the process of everyday transactions easier, cheaper and faster by:
- Making it easier to find lost super and consolidate accounts;
- Implementing new data and e-commerce standards for superannuation transactions;
- Allowing the use of tax file numbers as the primary locator of member accounts; and
- Establishing a free clearing house service for small businesses, which cuts red tape by allowing payment of superannuation contributions in one simple online transaction.
- Made Australia's superannuation system fairer to properly serve the interests of members as well as improving efficiency, competition and transparency for the industry, by:
- Introducing new, simple, low-cost default superannuation products called MySuper;
- Requiring superfunds to disclose the pay of their directors and investment risk, the dollar value of fees and their investment performance in an easy to read way;
- Introducing the toughest ever duties for superannuation trustees to manage conflicts of interests and act honestly; and
- Giving the regulator APRA, the same standards-making power in superannuation that they have in banking and insurance.
The Gillard Labor Government is also creating Australia's first Super Charter which will enshrine the core principles of our world class scheme for the long term.
Labor's superannuation reforms will boost our national pool of superannuation savings by more than $500 billion by 2037, and will give a 30 year on average wages an additional $127,000 in their retirement.
In stark contrast to Labor's plans to increase superannuation, Mr Abbott has broken his promise to Australian employees not to touch their super and instead is proposing to cut superannuation savings.
It is a matter of record that the Coalition has voted against every increase in universal superannuation since it was created by Labor.
Mr Abbott has described superannuation as a "con-job" and a "confidence trick", and as recently as last year said:
"We have always as a Coalition been against compulsory superannuation increases."
Press conference – 23 March 2012
Mr Abbott has also confirmed he will increase tax on super for 3.6 million Australians earning $37,000 or less – including 2.1 million women – by scrapping the Low Income Superannuation Contribution.
Labor is the party of superannuation – we created it and we're the only party interested in growing the retirement savings of hard-working Australians.