National Reform Summit 2015 | KPMG | AU

National Reform Summit 2015

National Reform Summit 2015

The 2015 National Reform Summit was a rare opportunity to achieve a consensus on a national agenda for economic and social reform in Australia.


National Managing Partner, Advisory

KPMG Australia


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National Reform Summit

Statement from the National Reform Summit

Australia is a wealthy country that can have an even more prosperous future shared by everyone.

We believe in sustainable economic growth and the creation of high quality jobs, with shared prosperity that improves the quality of life for all.

Groups representing Australian business, community and workers came together at KPMG on 26 August 2015 to agree actions that will help us realise our shared vision.

These groups are committed to a comprehensive programme of economic and social reform.

Read the Statement from the National Reform Summit (PDF 277KB)

Retirement Incomes Stream

Paul Howes, Head of Wealth Management Advisory, provides a summary of the Retirement Incomes discussion during the National Reform Summit held on 26 August 2015.

Key insights

  • The focus by the summit on giving superannuation and retirement incomes a purpose is one of the most important discussions that took place. We've seen a lot of discussion about the purpose of superannuation but we haven’t seen a lot of action to date.
  • We have a view that the purpose of superannuation is providing a sustainable, secure retirement income. Once the sector is focused on this sole purpose, we will see many changes occurring within our superannuation funds and throughout the broader wealth management sector.
  • The Financial System Inquiry report recommended the creation of a Comprehensive Income Product for Retirement (CIPR). Once we have CIPRs introduced into our superannuation system we will see the focus come back on the reason it was invented in the first place.
  • There was a great discussion about the need to drive greater efficiencies into our superannuation system. We have been working with our clients on this for a long time, but that challenge hasn’t been met yet. We haven’t seen the benefits of scale flowing through to individual super fund members. The focus on that by the summit is a really positive thing.

Read the Retirement Income Stream summary (PDF 135KB)

Tax Reform Stream

David Linke, National Managing Partner, Tax, provides a summary on the Tax Reform Stream during the National Reform Summit held on 26 August 2015. The tax system needs to considered as a whole, a roadmap developed, changes modelled so we can achieve systemic and significant tax reform which will assist in economic growth, productivity and an increase in jobs.

Key insights

  • There was common ground between parties at the National Reform Summit and consistent discussion around how the tax system can assist with economic growth, productivity and providing a greater number of jobs.
  • The tax system needs to be considered as a whole and not in individual parts. A roadmap for reform needs to be set out and how the changes will affect pensioners, lower income groups and high income earners assessed.
  • We need to consider the tax system as a whole and not rule out any particular taxes, otherwise, we won’t achieve systemic and significant tax reform to position us for increased living standards and economic growth in the future.
  • The impact of proposed changes needs to be modelled so we can use an evidence based approach to assess the impacts and have a sensible discussions.
  • Competiveness with Asia needs to be considered from a corporate tax and investment perspective – when we’re competitive we create jobs.

Read the Tax Reform Stream summary (PDF 136KB)

Fiscal Sustainability Stream

Brendan Rynne, KPMG's Chief Economist, provides a summary on the Fiscal Sustainability Stream during the National Reform Summit held on 26 August 2015.

Key insights

  • Australia is in a structural deficit environment and continuing with the current policy settings will only perpetuate the situation
  • Spending cuts alone won’t do enough, tax increases alone won’t do enough, rather, we need a combination of both
  • We must ensure that we are spending money where it has a positive impact and where we aren’t it should be stopped
  • Reform to our tax system should result in a tax mix that is growth enhancing, fair and equitable and revenue sustaining.

Read the Fiscal Sustainability Stream summary (PDF 131KB)

Productivity Stream

John Somerville, National Managing Partner, Advisory, provides a summary on the Productivity Stream during the National Reform Summit held on 26 August 2015.

Key insights

  • The challenge is how do we grow the economic pie and increase living standards for all Australians?
  • Productivity is not about making people work longer, or getting lower real wages, it's about increasing wealth for everyone
  • Measures to improve workforce participation must be tailored to consider the diversity and circumstances of disadvantaged groups
  • All the areas of reform the summit has discussed – productivity, participation, fiscal sustainability, tax reform and retirement income – are all interlinked, you can't decouple them
  • We need to take a longer-term view and recognise that it is a journey that will require more than political will, it will take reform and dedication.

Read the Productivity Stream summary (PDF 136KB)

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