1 July 2013

Media Statement

It was a privilege to serve as Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation in the Gillard Labor Government.

I am proud to have worked with colleagues to secure a number of historic Labor reforms. We have built upon on the great legacy of Hawke and Keating, which improve the transparency and fairness of our financial services sector, while making our superannuation system more sustainable for the future.

Only Labor governments are willing to negotiate the 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.

I am proud of our achievements since taking on this portfolio in 2010. Beginning today, universal superannuation will finally begin to move to 12 per cent – a long overdue reform, boosting the retirement incomes of 8.4 million working Australians.

Abolishing the 15 per cent tax paid on superannuation for those earning up to $37,000 is also boosting the superannuation of 3.6 million Australians, including 2.1 million working women.

We've made 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 moderating tax concessions on super when adequate balances have been built, to make the system more sustainable for the future.

We've bought the financial planning industry into the 21st century by removing conflicted remuneration structures and challenging the industry to become more professional, a challenge which I think the industry has and will continue to rise to.

I'm proud of our reforms to the flood insurance market following the devastating 2011 floods including implementing a standard definition of flood, establishing a simple key facts sheet on home and contents insurance policies to better inform consumers, and establishing the National Insurance Affordability Council to fund flood mitigation measures and to prevent the damage caused by floods and reduce insurance premiums.

These along with a range of other reforms across my portfolio will force downward pressure on superannuation fees and charges.

I'd like to acknowledge Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan for driving this reform program that will improve the retirement outcomes for Australians for generations to come.

I'd also like to extend my thanks to the financial services sector for working co-operatively and diligently with the Government to deliver reforms in the best interests of all Australians.

I am certain that Treasurer Chris Bowen and Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury will continue Labor's legacy of working towards providing all Australians with a dignified retirement.

Our superannuation system gives every Australian a direct stake in their individual retirement security and also the big decisions about the economic future of the country and only Labor is focussed on providing all Australians with a secure retirement.