The treatment of the family home for tax and benefit purposes is one of the most fiscally unsustainable policies in Australia and the government can use the retirement income system review to scrutinise policies such as this, Heffron SMSF Solutions believes.
The self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) service provider’s director, Martin Heffron, said the restriction of the terms of reference to establishing facts rather than making recommendations offered an unusual opportunity to avoid political pressure.
He said the independent panel could more freely investigate the impact of retirement income policies such as the generous treatment of the family home on inter-generational equity, fiscal sustainability and efficiency.
“The generous treatment of the Australian family home for tax and benefit purposes is one of the most fiscally unsustainable policies in Australia. It has many negative consequences and contributes to the sharp increase in homelessness we see in our city streets every day,” he said.
“Thankfully, there is nothing to stop the panel from reporting on the factual impact of this treatment on the sustainability of our current retirement income policy framework. I wish them well in their important work.”
Heffron also called for the review to clarify terms such as ‘retirement income adequacy’ as the range of opinions of what was adequate for individuals could open the review up to criticism and confusion.