12 January 2006

Labor Gives Australians Less Super Choice

Labor is proposing to give working Australians less choice in how they manage their superannuation, Assistant Treasurer Mal Brough said today.

Labor’s Nick Sherry has again called for lost superannuation accounts to be automatically rolled together using Tax File Numbers.

Mr Brough said a large driver of lost accounts had been employees being forced to establish a new account when they moved employers rather than having the freedom to choose, for example, to continue contributing to their existing account.

He said for ten years Labor opposed tooth and nail superannuation choice and they also opposed more flexible portability rules.

“Labor prefers a policy of automatic consolidation that would result in many Australians having their superannuation benefit moved to a different fund without their consent,” Mr Brough said.

“Automatic consolidation will not increase competition in the superannuation sector and it will not place downward pressure on fees and charges, unlike superannuation choice of fund.

“This Government prefers to encourage Australians to take a strong interest in their retirement savings, rather than seeking to disengage Australians from their superannuation by making important decisions on their behalf.”

Mr Brough said the Government had taken steps to reduce the number of lost accounts.

The ATO maintains the Lost Members Register, which lists the superannuation account details of ‘lost members’.

This allows those members who have lost track of their superannuation benefits to attempt to locate them through a central register. This can be done by phoning 13 28 65 or online through the “SuperSeeker” website at www.ato.gov.au/super.

The ATO is also undertaking a matching project to inform individuals of their lost superannuation accounts and providing them with contact details for their fund.