Objective of Superannuation: KPMG’s submission to Treasury

Objective of Superannuation: KPMG’s Treasury submission

On April 6 2016, KPMG lodged a submission to the Treasurer in response to the Government’s consultation on the proposed objective of superannuation. In our submission, we outline a series of proposed changes to make the superannuation system fairer and stronger.

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In October 2015, the Government announced that it would develop legislation to enshrine the objective of superannuation, as part of its response to the Financial System Inquiry (FSI). The Government has accepted the recommendation of the FSI that the objective of the superannuation system is to provide income in retirement to substitute or supplement the Age Pension.

On April 6 2016, KPMG lodged a submission to the Treasurer in response to the Government’s consultation on the proposed objective of superannuation.

KPMG supports a legislated shift in policy focus from wealth accumulation to ensuring super helps to provide Australians with an adequate retirement income and agrees that clarity of purpose will aid consistent policy delivery and ultimately efficiency. We also support the adoption of the overarching principles of adequacy, sustainability, certainty and fairness.

As Australia’s superannuation system matures it is appropriate that the focus shift towards ensuring superannuation plays its part in providing all Australians with access to an adequate retirement income.

The shift in focus is more profound than immediately evident. A statutory statement of the objective of superannuation will drive change in the industry; change that should see a much needed focus on the comprehensive retirement income needs of Australians.

Summary of KPMG’s proposed changes to the superannuation system

In our submission, we have outlined a series of proposed changes to make the superannuation system fairer and stronger, including:

  • reducing the annual income threshold at which the 15 percent tax rate applies to concessional super contributions
  • cutting the existing annual non-concessional contribution cap from $180,000
  • restricting the ability to bring forward 3 years’ worth of non-concessional contributions
  • introducing measures to provide greater flexibility for contributions to personal retirement savings for owners of SMEs
  • introducing limited exemptions from capping arrangements to allow low income earners and those who have broken work patterns – often women – to boost their super contributions
  • expanding the ASFA income adequacy standard to include home ownership and aged care considerations
  • reviewing all legislative impediments to the creation of innovative and comprehensive retirement income products by trustees.

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