ASFA calls for super policy stability, with modest changes, in 2017 Budget

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) is calling for today’s Federal Budget to deliver policy stability for the superannuation system, though with “modest changes”.

ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy said superannuation, was an unqualified human good and an outstanding public policy initiative, like universal health care and free education.

“Super is lifting Australian retirement outcomes and supporting fiscal sustainability, helping reduce unfunded pension liabilities,” he said.

“Australia leads the world in the sustainability of our pension system. Thanks to super, we have the lowest spending on pensions as a percentage of gross domestic product of any Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development country and this will continue in the decades ahead.”

“Super also drives the financial system in infrastructure and nation building and underpins the stability of the banking system with banking deposits.”

ASFA has called for stability in superannuation policy, but does recommend several “modest but affordable” changes. These include making it easier for the ATO to reunite lost super accounts with members, extra ATO funding for Super Guarantee audits and “adequate resourcing” for the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT).

Dr Fahy said a period of consolidation would allow the changes from the 2016 Budget to be accommodated. He also suggested that changes to super and the age pension should only be made every five years, aligned with the Intergenerational Report.

“We have a retirement income system ranked as third best in the world, but if government strengthens its commitment to super and reflects public affection for the scheme, then Australians can still have the best future in the world for its retirees,” said Dr Fahy.

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