Morrison must rule out delays to Super Guarantee rate increases: Labor

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Labor has called on the Prime Minister to rule out further delays to the legislated increases in the Superannuation Guarantee rate, after reports that backbenchers are agitating for such a delay.

Labor’s Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers said: “Scott Morrison must rule out calls from his backbenchers to hurt workers saving for a comfortable retirement by cutting their superannuation”

This follows a report in the Australian Financial Review that Coalition backbenchers are hopeful a potential review of the retirement income systems could stop future increases to the SG rate.

The Productivity Commission recommended a review of the retirement income systems ahead of any increases in the SG rate – with the next scheduled for 1 July 2021. The Government appears well disposed to this recommendation, despite not having fully responded to the recommendations in the report it received in December last year.

“It’s beyond hypocritical that the very same Coalition MPS who pretended to be champions of retirees now want to attack the retirement savings of Australian workers,” said Chalmers.

“Scott Morrison needs to come out today and pull his rebel backbenchers into line.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has previously said the Coalition has “no plans” to change the SG rate reaching 12% on the current timetable. The AFR quotes Frydenberg as saying there are “no plans to change the legislated superannuation guarantee”.

Chalmers went on to says that “the Liberals have already delayed Labor’s important reforms to increase the Superannuation Guarantee to 12 per cent so workers can enjoy a more dignified retirement,” seemingly referring to the delays to the SG timetable legislated by the Coalition.

Labor has frequently been critical of delayed increases to the Super Guarantee rate legislated by the Coalition, but hasn’t committed to any faster increases. In April then-Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said Labor would keep the Coalition’s timetable for reaching a 12% SG rate in 2025. He’d earlier said that Labor would “brook no further delay” to increases in the SG rate.

The appropriate rate for the Super Guarantee has been a contentions issue this week, with strong debate from a number of groups following analysis by the Grattan Institute.

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