Government’s proposed superannuation objective is “fatally flawed”

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The Government’s proposed legislative objective for superannuation is “fatally flawed”, according to Industry Super Australia.

In a submission to the Senate Committee inquiry into the Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2016, Industry Super Australia says that setting an objective as a means to evaluate policy proposals is sound but the objective in the Bill is flawed.

“Among other reasons, the primary objective is flawed because it would not provide a basis for comparing and evaluating future superannuation policy proposals,” says the submission.

“In addition, to be successful, the primary and secondary objectives should have broad support. This requires effort and consultation. The proposed objective before the Committee does not enjoy broad support. The superannuation sector has made clear to the Government that it rejects the proposed primary objective as misguided.”

Industry Super Australia says the Government has only conducted a “superficial” consultation process. The submission says that the Committee reject the objective contained in the Bill and recommend in its report that the Government undertake a consultation on an objective which “allows policy proposals, business conduct, and individual decisions to be evaluated consistent with the social policy objectives of the superannuation system.”

Industry Super Australia puts forward the following as a suitable objective for superannuation:

The objective of the superannuation system is to deliver financial security and dignity in retirement to all Australians by providing regular income that is, when combined with any public pension and other sources of income, sufficient to secure a comfortable standard of living by reasonable community standards.

The Senate Committee is due to give its report by 14 February 2017.

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