The Federal Opposition appears to have stolen a march on the Government with its proposed changes to superannuation policy earning the plaudits of a wide cross-section of the financial services industry, including the Financial Services Council (FSC).
The FSC welcomed the ALP’s announcement and suggested the Australian Labor Party could even go further, noting that the FSC had for many years paid super contributions for its own staff while they were on parental leave, as had a number of the FSC’s members.
It said that another recent innovation had been for some super funds to introduce fee freezes for new parents.
“All employers and funds should think about what more they can do to boost retirement savings,” the FSC’s director of policy and global markets, Allan Hansell said.
“Labor’s plan should be commended for helping all Australians, especially women, achieve a comfortable retirement,” he said. “Removing the $450 minimum earnings threshold for superannuation guarantee payments will also make a significant difference to the retirement savings of many Australians, particularly those at the start of their careers or working in the gig economy.”
Hansell noted that the $450 threshold had remained little changed since the introduction of compulsory superannuation and did not reflect the changing nature of work for many.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia also welcomed the move with its chief executive, Dr Martin Fahy stating the package recognised the important social policy issues that arose due to women’s lower super balances and that narrowing the gap would lead to better standards of living in retirement for women.
“Structural policy reform to protect and enhance the economic security of women in retirement is something that ASFA has long advocated for. It is of critical importance to ensure that women are not condemned to experiencing poverty, and even homelessness, in retirement,” he said.