Super changes needed urgently

Industry Super Australia (ISA) has called on politicians to use this parliamentary sitting week to debate and pass key legislation that will protect superannuation savings.

The ISA claims that multiple reviews revealed that not only are consumers short-changed billions in superannuation contributions, but their savings are also being eroded by chronic underperformance, multiple accounts and for-profit fund fee-gouging.

ISA chief executive Bernie Dean said the interests of fund members had to be put above politics but time was running out for this parliament to act.

“The Senate should agree on sensible amendments to the Protecting Your Super Bill designed to protect … [those] with low balances, and the House of Representatives should ratify a bill that increases transparency and penalties for unpaid super,” said Mr Dean. 

“Long delays to these bills and partisan politicking needs to stop for members’ sake. Every week that passes without agreement risks Australians losing millions in retirement savings.

“By the end of this week super could be better for everyone. Fees could be lower, with limits on what a fund can charge people with low account balances.

“We could give many people a boost by automatically finding their low balance lost and forgotten accounts and promptly combining them into one.

“And we could close the loopholes some employers use to shortchange their workers by not paying super at all, although even stronger laws are necessary.”

Mr Dean said other bills listed, including Member Outcomes 1, carried important measures such as civil and criminal penalties for superannuation trustees, that should be expedited.

But, he said, some other measures in that bill would require significant amendments to reflect the recent findings of the Productivity Commission review into super and the banking royal commission.

“Unless significant amendments to the member outcomes assessment and reporting standards are made, they should be split from the bill in order to get the detail right,” Mr Dean said.

“The Parliament should not be passing a weak and ineffective member outcomes test, reporting standards and disclosure regime that lets dud super funds off the hook.

“However, this should not distract from landing critical changes where the detail is right,” he said.

Should the Government stop playing politics with superannuation and pass changes to protect people’s retirement savings?

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Written by Ben

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