Govt’s super approach would force many to work into their 70s

On the same day the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg is flagged to release the long-delayed Retirement Income Review report, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has released new research which suggest scrapping the planned timetable for increasing the superannuation guarantee (SG) will force people to work well into their 70s. 

The report – A retirement that never comes – finds many workers who are carrying Australia through the current COVID-19 pandemic will be forced to work well into their 70s if the legislated increase in superannuation is cut by the Federal Government, suggesting the lost savings from the 2014 delay and a further delay in 2020 ranges between $70,000 for a pharmacist or retail worker and $149,000 for police and teachers.  

Further it pointed to the Government’s COVID-related hardship early access to superannuation regime and said that when early access was taken into account the retirement shortfall numbers rose to $109,000 to $192,000 in lost retirement savings for those forced to use $20,000 of their super today. 

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“Even assuming a modest lifestyle, this is the equivalent of 4-7 years of lost retirement savings, forcing people to work long into the best years of their retirement,” the ACTU analysis of the report said. “The only alternative will be to retire into poverty and rely on an inadequate pension, at great cost to the taxpayer.” 

Commenting on the report findings, ACTU president, Michele O’Neil said Morrison Government was again failing to be honest with the Australian people about the future of their retirement incomes. 

“The Retirement Incomes Review was supposed to provide certainty, instead the Australian people are left wondering whether next year’s superannuation increase to 12%, promised to them and enshrined in law will be stripped away by this government,” she said. 

“Any further delay to the super guarantee increase will rob millions of workers of the best and healthiest years of their retirement, including workers who have performed essential work during the crisis. 

“For millions of Australians, delaying the super increase means a life where the retirement they work so hard for, simply never comes. 

“This is particularly true for working women. Already, over 70% of women have estimated balances under $150,000 and almost a quarter have balances less than $50,000. 

“Delaying the super increase punishes the workers who have paid the biggest price to keep us safe. They have lost hours, pay and jobs and many have run out of sick leave, annual leave and long service leave – now they are being asked to sacrifice their retirement years.”  

“Instead of enjoying their life after work, people will continue often in back-breaking and mentally exhausting jobs like aged care, disability, cleaning and construction well into their 70s.” 




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This claim by the Union Super Fund lobbyists in nonsensical. All low asset retirees over 67 receive the full Centrelink age pension. End of story. Whereas a lot of retiree couples with over $860,000 in savings, receive no Centrelink age pension. The problem is?

Maybe companies who fund these research papers should be fully transparent about their stakes should the laws go their way. eg if SG goes to 12%, we would expect to receive an additional $x million in revenue (compared to keeping it at 9.5%). Would they take this stance if there was no financial incentive?

It's pretty clear that the only people in Australia who think it's appropriate to increase SG in a low wage growth environment are union officials. It says something about how dependent unions now are on union super fund revenue, that they would lobby so hard for something that is clearly not in their members' interests.

For women in particular, as an industry we need to give people confidence in their retirement future. Having a nest egg of superannuation and an estimate of what it will be worth in retirement is a valuable contributor to confidence in retirement. The numbers we are doing (the mProjections algorithm) show that a retirement with the increased SGC is a necessity for superannuation to offer a meaningful level of confidence in their future.

Sounds like you're saying the facts and the economics don't support it, but let's do it anyway to provide "confidence" for particular identity politics target groups? That's the least convincing argument I've heard yet.

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