Everyone should have super fund choice: Assistant Treasurer

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super choice, choice of superannuation fund, superannuation guarantee, employer contributionsKelly O’Dwyer, recently appointed Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business, has argued that everyone should be able to choose which super fund receives their employer super contributions.

In a Daily Telegraph Op-ed O’Dwyer said it was “critical” that everybody should be able to choose their superannuation fund.

“Currently around 2 million Australians have no choice in their superannuation fund – it is chosen for them because their employment is covered by an enterprise agreement or workplace determination.”

“They are forced to take the fund that has been determined for them – despite the fact that it might not be best for their personal circumstances, their stage of life, or their plans in retirement.”

O’Dwyer gave an example of a university student who was forced to have multiple superannuation funds because his two jobs designated different funds under separate enterprise agreements.

“This means two funds, two sets of fees and two insurance premiums,” O’Dwyer said. It also leads to “greater complexity and possibly less retirement savings.”

The Financial System Inquiry (Murray Inquiry) had recommended that all employees have the option to choose which superannuation fund received their Superannuation Guarantee contributions. The Government has, in response, agreed to extend choice of super fund arrangements “to more employees by removing the deemed choice for certain enterprise agreements and workplace determinations.”

The Government is also tasking the Productivity Commission with assessing the competitiveness and efficiency of the superannuation system.

On ABC’s Insiders Kelly O’Dwyer was asked if this was responding to one inquiry with another:

No, not at all. We think it’s very important that the superannuation savings of Australians are properly protected, that they are in funds that are competitive and efficient and that there is transparency around that. We know that we want them to have the very best possible returns so that they can live out their retirement in the best possible way. What we’ve simply said in response to the Murray Inquiry is that the Productivity Commission needs to look at the effectiveness, the efficiency and the competitiveness of our superannuation system as a whole, which was exactly what Murray said we should do.

Scott Morrison also used the Daily Telegraph on Monday to flag changes to the contributions rules for women and carers returning to the workforce.

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