Superannuation: changes only hope of fixing deficit

Super changes must happen if there’s any hope of saving budget.

Superannuation: changes only hope of fixing deficit

According to the Grattan Institute, if the Government can’t see its super changes legislated then there is no hope of it being able to successfully fix the budget deficit. 

In its paper released today, the Grattan Institute is clear that it's the changes to superannuation announced in Budget 2016/17 that will prove the defining issue of this Government’s term, "not because our major political parties are at loggerheads, but because they largely agree". 

With Labor supporting the changes, subject to clarification that the $500,000 lifetime cap on non-concessional contributions isn't retrospective, Grattan Institute CEO John Daly is urging the Government to push ahead, “There’s a grand total of one thing that the ALP disagrees with the government on that costs the Budget money. There’s a whole list of things it agrees on that saves money,” he says.

“If you can’t do a deal with all of that going for you, it’s hard to see how they will get anything worthwhile done. If we cannot get reform in this situation, then there is little hope for either budget repair or wider economic reform.

The Government has already signalled amendments to its proposed changes to appease those within the Coalition who believe the hard fought nature of the election campaign was due to public objection to the changes. The Grattan Institute, however, notes that there is little evidence to support this, "Polling suggests that support for the changes is highest amongst older people on high incomes, perhaps because they understand that the current system is unsustainable," the report says.

The report continues, “For more than a decade, superannuation tax breaks have been absurdly generous to older people on high incomes.” It also says this is the reason that households over the age of 65 are paying less tax in real terms than they were 20 years ago as a result of such tax breaks, while those between the ages of 25 and 64 are paying more tax.

“Even after the reforms, super tax breaks will overwhelmingly flow to high-income earners who do not need them,” the report also states.

And while the superannuation industry claims that nine per cent of superannuation account holders will be affected by the changes, Grattan refutes such calculations. It claims that the nine per cent is due to double counting and says this figure is more around 4.2 per cent, close to the Government’s estimate of four per cent. 

Read the working paper, A better super system: Assessing the 2016 tax reforms

Read more at TheAge.com.au
Read more at News.com.au

Opinion: Super just the tip of the retirement iceberg

The theory behind the proposed superannuation changes is noble one indeed: to redress the balance between the wealthy and the not-so-wealthy in retirement. But until such times as Australia’s retirement income system receives a full and effective overhaul, then it’s really just paying lip service.

As we’ve stated time and time again, the superannuation system as introduced in 1992 by the Keating government was based on the principle that working Australians would have at least 40 years of superannuation savings to sustain them throughout retirement. A determining factor of the success of superannuation as a retirement income savings means was that the superannuation guarantee would rise to 15 per cent.

Fast forward some 24 years and we have a system that has been tinkered with so many times that people are losing their faith in ever being able to save enough for their own retirement. The closest we are to having a superannuation guarantee of 15 per cent is the current legislation that will see it rise to 12 per cent by 2025 – a fat lot of good that will do anyone hoping to retire in the next 10 years.

The failure of successive governments to fully understand the important of superannuation as a retirement income savings tool rather than a tax revenue vehicle has resulted in an increasing reliance on the Age Pension for those entering retirement. And as a result of this reliance, we’re now being told that our welfare system is unsustainable. It all seems a little chicken and egg to me.

In May we were told with conviction that our superannuation would be changed for the better. Yet, just four or five months on, we’re seeing increasing reluctance from within the Coalition to support these ‘necessary’ changes, largely due, one suspects to the act that it is the high-income earning Coalition supporters that will be affected by such changes. Despite having the support of the voting public and the Labor Party that is needed to see such changes legislated, the Government has responded by indicating that a few tweaks will be made to make the changes ‘fairer’.

But surely fair is to give every working Australian the equal opportunity to save for their retirement?

What do you think? Should the Government have the courage of its convictions to see the changes legislated? Is there any aspect of the proposed changes you would like to see readdressed? Do you think there’s any chance that our retirement income systems will ever be fair for all?

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    COMMENTS

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    Hairy
    5th Sep 2016
    11:29am
    My dear old dad said to me in 1992 when super was available to metal workers,he said son the goverment will rape the hell out of it because they will be thinking it's their piggy bank you will have to fight to get your just rewards.synical my old dad was but you know he was right about the rapeing .im sorry but you just can't trust any of these freeloading pensioner bashing blind and deaf to anything except their own gratification politicians
    Lorrainehk
    5th Sep 2016
    11:48am
    I am surprised at how many people continue to complain about the superannuation changes. There must be a lot more people with $1.6 million in super than I thought. I wish that I was one of those affected but I am sure that I would not be able to spend that much money in the next 20 years anyway. The people complaining about retrospectivity obviously have not read the details. FUTURE income earned on your excess above 1.6 million will be taxed. What a shame. Someone has to pay for roads and health care. My children are doing it tough as it is, without burdening them with supporting the retired generation's costs.
    Old Geezer
    5th Sep 2016
    2:10pm
    Agree retirees and pensioners have it easy compared to our young folk.

    People are complaining because simply it is a change and there is uncertainly how it will effect them. That is why AMSF contributions were down 34% last year. Most money goes in in the last couple of months of the year so people held off with the uncertainty of the budget measures. Many people are also thinking that super has become too hard and thinking seriously of pulling the pin on it or cashing it out as soon as they can now.

    This is not good for the future at all.
    MICK
    5th Sep 2016
    8:10pm
    Good post Lorrainehk. Sort of tells a story when people complain about tax on amounts over $1.6 million.
    roy
    5th Sep 2016
    8:28pm
    They only look after the top end of town.
    Adrianus
    6th Sep 2016
    10:52am
    Lorrainehk, in your example that means if a member has a balance o say $3.2m then half of the income will attract a 15% tax, the other half of the income will not have the same concessional treatment.
    People like MICK and fred will happily try to reverse the facts to make it appear that well off people are getting special treatment. There is no mention of the additional benefits to low income earners, especially women. Kinda makes you wonder what sort of good news will stop these people from whinging?
    Anonymous
    10th Sep 2016
    3:20pm
    ''Agree retirees and pensioners have it easy compared to our young folk.''

    Really, OG? I heard the other day that average young couple spends a whopping $65,000 on their wedding. I don't know a young family that hasn't travelled overseas for a holiday. There are 2 near-new cars in nearly every family garage. A house isn't a home unless it's got 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 3 living rooms, a professionally landscaped garden and a swimming pool.

    My neighbour is hard up. Can't afford to pay the rates. New 5-bedroom home. 3 kids in private schools. Holiday in Bali. But they are REALLY struggling!

    Honestly, I wish I could find these young folk who are doing it tough. My daughter would be doing it harder than 95% - with only one very modest income and a disabled child. But she is still managing to pay-off 2 investment properties (with repayments now mostly covered by rent).

    I agree the disabled and long-term unemployed are doing it tough, but so are many of our aged, and it's sickening to see the contemptuous manner of some here who are well off. Social division doesn't help anyone, and generalizations display gross ignorance and arrogance. It's got nothing to do with age. It's mainly about the lottery of birth and the opportunities one has enjoyed. True, some are able to make more of scant opportunities than others, but that's because they scored high in the lottery of birth on one or more factors. Good health, natural aptitude, access to strong mentors, etc. make a huge difference. There's no such thing as a ''self-made'' man or woman. It's just that people prefer to beat their chests than to admit to their blessings.
    Lookfar
    5th Sep 2016
    12:39pm
    The report is informative, here is an early take, "The analysis shows how either of the reform packages proposed by both major parties would be a big step in the right direction. It explores how the current system provides much larger benefits to those with such ample resources that they will never qualify for an Age Pension. And it shows how the proposed changes would affect them - and pretty much nobody else."
    buby
    9th Sep 2016
    5:55am
    OH yes there should be reforms in many areas.......especially in this one........READ this. What a total waste of money....... I see they weren't spending their money???

    http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/09/08/17/38/ministers-defend-money-spent-on-afl-trip
    4b2
    5th Sep 2016
    1:06pm
    Why not keep it simple. Change all superannuation over to the Future Fund. After all this was set up with taxpayers funds. One bucket for all to share, and one set of rules for all
    So simple.
    Lookfar
    5th Sep 2016
    1:19pm
    4b2, - I don't have any idea how changing over to the Future fund would help, an Argument I read states, "First and foremost, the proposed reforms to superannuation announced in the 2016 budget are about making super better, and fairer.

    Tax breaks should only be available when they serve a policy aim. The purpose of super identified in the budget and due to be defined in legislation is to provide income in retirement to substitute or supplement the Age Pension. Super tax breaks don’t fulfil this purpose when they benefit those who were never going to qualify for an Age Pension in the first place."
    Would not the super rich just rort the future fund instead?
    MICK
    5th Sep 2016
    8:12pm
    The issue about HIGH income earners is that they do not need the superannuation scheme at all. They only use it as a vehicle to minimise their tax and would invest for their retirement with or without the superannuation system.
    roy
    5th Sep 2016
    8:29pm
    They only look after the top end of town.

    5th Sep 2016
    1:24pm
    I think that before any further deliberation is made on superannuation policy that all politicians should pass a motion in order to clear their minds, get back to reality, and think about Age Pensioners' welfare for a change.
    Lookfar
    5th Sep 2016
    1:45pm
    Hi Fast Eddie, isn't it the danger that the Govt will take their deficit from the Age pension, - so it makes more sense to take it from those much too rich to get the age pension, - by not giving them the expensive tax cuts?
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2016
    1:54pm
    Look far, in a word "Yes".
    Old Geezer
    5th Sep 2016
    2:04pm
    Nay it has the purse strings on the OAP so it is so much easier to get money out of than super. More changes to come with the OAP.
    Rae
    5th Sep 2016
    4:07pm
    The tax concessions currently afforded superannuation are unsustainable. We are 38 billion short and most of it due to tax concessions.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2016
    4:35pm
    It's a Catch 22 - incorrectly tax those who may never need to access the pension and you will cause 'x' of them to eventually fall back on the age pension.

    This will apply more pressure as the age pension budget increases - and governments will likely to have to cut age pensions further.

    You always have to be careful what you wish for - there is always cause and effect when attacking any group.
    MICK
    5th Sep 2016
    8:16pm
    Lookfar: governments normally go after the easy marks. That's ordinary citizens. The big end of town has the money to fight and will likely drag any government which deprives the top end of town of their affluence through the courts....and will stop funding/supporting its government until it backs off. So predictable methinks.
    roy
    5th Sep 2016
    8:31pm
    Well said MICK, the top end of town again, you are so astute methinks. The top end of town are in charge.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2016
    7:37am
    There's no ''Catch 22'' here. Reasons. The current system is giving bucket loads to the richest 5% and nothing to the poorest. It's a disgrace! And the same people who are whinging about limited superannuation tax concessions are endorsing pension changes that slashed up to 1/3rd of the incomes of battlers who have only half of what those who would be affected by superannuation changes have, and no hope of accruing more. Apparently it's fine to steal the personal savings of people who never had super - or any other benefits funded by taxpayers - but not to reduce the obscene WELFARE to the WEALTHY.
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2016
    5:02pm
    No one is stealing from anybody. People have had it too good for too long and now it is time for everyone to take a cut whether an OAP or a self funded retiree.

    The wealthy already pay more than their fair share and get nothing more than anyone else in return. So stop criticising the wealthy for doing more than their fair share.
    buby
    9th Sep 2016
    5:57am
    Where ever they are getting their money from they are wasting it hand over fist......I"M stunned
    http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/09/08/17/38/ministers-defend-money-spent-on-afl-trip
    Anonymous
    10th Sep 2016
    3:29pm
    OG, nobody is criticizing the wealthy for ''doing more than their fair share''. They are CORRECTLY criticized for TAKING MORE THAN THEIR FAIR SHARE. They don't pay anything like a fair tax. They have concessions by the bucket-load and they pay fancy accountants to manipulate and dodge all over the place.

    It's the strugglers who are paying more than their fair share - the folk who don't earn enough to get more than 15c in the dollar superannuation concession (or none at all) and couldn't dream of investing to get negative gearing or capital gains tax concessions. As wage earners, they don't have access to those ''grey area'' business deductions. They pay the prescribed rate on every dollar they earn.

    Wealthy are leeches are bleeding this nation, and beating their chests and boasting about being ''self-funded'' in old age (except they are NOT.)
    floss
    5th Sep 2016
    2:41pm
    Super reform and many other cut backs would not be necessary if we stabilised our population and let our overworked infrastructure catch up, instead we sell up money making public assets to pay for our stupid immigration policy.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2016
    3:01pm
    Stop immigration then.
    roy
    5th Sep 2016
    6:09pm
    Hear hear eddie.
    MICK
    5th Sep 2016
    8:21pm
    Now that is a good observation looney. I don't think Australians understand how much money is going to and will continue to go into infrastructure upgrades des to new citizens. Of course the media avoids any mention of the relationship between fast population increase (from importing citizens) and the sale of public assets to try and provide infrastructure, housing, food and jobs for our newcomers.
    The do gooders with their heartfelt empathy have a lot to answer for. Whilst we all feel sorry for people in poor countries we need to remember that IT IS NOT FREE when they arrive here. If it were up to the toxic Greens we'd double our population with nigh a thought about anything other than feeling good.
    FM
    6th Sep 2016
    1:34pm
    I do not believe assets were sold to pay specifically for immigration policy.
    The issue for retirees is that regardless of whether we had immigration or not retirees would not be a priority. We have billions to spend on submarines and Gonski but have to take money from retirees. Go figure.
    buby
    9th Sep 2016
    5:59am
    you know they tax you when you put money away into super, then when you wanna draw on it. they don't really know how to be careful with money, and its quiet obviously seen here.
    And these buggers are supposed to be looking after us........
    WE should not be trusting them with anything they have to offer. GET them out ASAP
    http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/09/08/17/38/ministers-defend-money-spent-on-afl-trip
    floss
    5th Sep 2016
    3:09pm
    Way to go Fast Eddie.
    Lookfar
    5th Sep 2016
    3:43pm
    Looney, not sure the immigration policy is costing much, times are tough for immigrants, - can not get pensions for 10 years, have to pay thousands of dollars to various Govt departments, Govt saves lotsa money not having to train them, - the ones who suffer are probably the younger generation, not able to compete for jobs, although many immigrants start businesses so offsetting that, I doubt that the immigrants are to blame for much expenditure, more likely they are being scapegoated to take our attention away from the Pollies.
    MICK
    5th Sep 2016
    8:24pm
    The hidden costs of immigration are ernous Lookfar. It's just that we don't see them like we see cost of housing and welfare. But they are there and one needs to watch the nightly media circus to see new projects unfold and sale of public assets to fund them. The recent sale of the electricity grid in NSW was to fund Westconnect I believe and this is the tip of a very large iceberg which has been surfacing for years.
    Not Senile Yet!
    5th Sep 2016
    3:13pm
    Time for the Libs to Govern......not dictate!
    Negotiation & Compromise is how you Govern!
    It will be their own Death next election if they refuse to negotiate and keep putting forward the same dictorial legislation and refuse to negotiate a compromise to lessen the Deficit!
    By their own words....the current super system is Unsustainable.....and they need to fix it!
    They simply cannot give tax cuts to anyone NOR Continue to give tax benefits to those who do NOT NEED THEM!
    Besides that.....to continue attacking the Aged Pensioners & unemployed......will be their Death at the next election!
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2016
    3:53pm
    Talkbull is no leader, he has NO policy or even a clue about what to do in office, he deflects and skirts issue every day, he has no path whatsoever to follow regarding priorities because he has none, everything thing he is confronted with he either ignores or puts off to a later date, he is afraid to make any decisions of any kind, he talks and says nothing, and in general is a waste of time, our taxpayer dollars, our future, our reputation, our welfare, and our future safety and stability as a free country as we once knew it. God help us!
    MICK
    5th Sep 2016
    8:27pm
    Agreed Not Senile Yet. Unfortunately the DNA of this coalition government is more of the genre 'my way or the highway'. Just imagine what Gillard could have achieved if Mr No Abbott had supported some of Labor's policies rather than veto everything.
    I do hope that SHorten sticks to his word of supporting good policy as he indicated during the election. Australia needs one side of politics which has the nation at heart rather than the vested interests.
    roy
    5th Sep 2016
    8:33pm
    The top end of town have vested interests MICK but what can we do?
    FM
    6th Sep 2016
    5:45pm
    Thanks Mick. It is a worry that Bill Shorten has not objected to the upcoming Omnibus Bill with some of the meanest and severest cuts aimed at the most disadvantaged. Even the conservative media have come out in force against it but there is still no word from the Labor Party.
    buby
    9th Sep 2016
    6:04am
    I reckon your darn right there eddie, check this out. MORE being wasted.
    http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/09/08/17/38/ministers-defend-money-spent-on-afl-trip
    and i'm sure there could be more instances, that we don't know about.
    NO polly seems to know how to be careful with the pensioners monies.
    IN Canada my cousin got Apension from the gov, and got a super annuation pension as well.......They doing well over there.
    Why is it they can't do anything good for us over here.
    When they go on their trips over seas spending more of our hard earned money, they not learning much of anything it seems.
    Except how to sell of our country bit by bit!!!
    When is it going to stop???
    KB
    5th Sep 2016
    3:41pm
    People who work and do the right thing by paying tax should be able to save as much as they can without being penalised by the government and not have the need to rely on the age pension.This would make perfect sense to me.
    Lookfar
    5th Sep 2016
    3:48pm
    KB, further to the earlier posts about the Gratton report,
    " The plans of both the government and the ALP would be big steps towards aligning super tax breaks more closely with their purpose. They would trim the generous super tax breaks enjoyed by the top 20% of income earners – people wealthy enough to be comfortable in retirement and unlikely to qualify for the Age Pension.

    Retirees with large superannuation balances will start paying some tax on their superannuation savings, but still pay much less tax than wage earners on lower incomes. For a small proportion of women with higher incomes later in life, the changes will reduce their catch-up contributions. Yet the changes will reduce the tax breaks far more for wealthier old men."
    MICK
    5th Sep 2016
    8:30pm
    But taxpayer subsidies should be wound back at some level of income because people can and will save for their retirement if they know there is not a blank cheque waiting for them.
    The issue as described well by Debbie is that (taxpayer) money is going to those who do not need it other than to live a more extravagant lifestyle.
    roy
    5th Sep 2016
    8:32pm
    It's the top end of town again, it's all their fault.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2016
    7:43am
    So do you oppose the aged pension changes that strip people who worked hard and paid loads of taxes of their personal savings while handing out to folk who partied, cruised the world, and gave bucket loads to their kids, KB. Or is it only the rich elite who are allowed to keep what they earn, and it's okay to penalise battlers for saving?

    5th Sep 2016
    4:09pm
    Of course the government should agree with labor on the changes. If it doesn't they will only be bloody minded and do not deserve to be in power. Labor is not asking for a lot in this instance and an agreement will go a long way towards what is hoped to be a sensible opposition.

    While there has been criticism about the super changes, most of it has centred on the retospectivity aspect with the government denying it and Labor saying that there is. To add to this we also have an imagined group of government backbenchers wanting the retrospectivity removed. What we actually have is a group of government backbenchers desperate to keep their jobs and want the retrospectivity lifted because the voters agree with Labor and the media. It is not so much who is right and who is wrong, the perception is what matters and there is a perception out there that Labor is right.

    Keating's superannuation policy in its idealistic form is a perfect way to improve the retirement lives of Australians when it is fully working. The downside is that the amounts held by the various superannuation trustees is becoming a magnet for politicians of all sides. They are thinking that we may not notice how they are wanting to strip funds from holders because it's not like a pay packet but something that won't come into play for, in some cases, decades. We need to establish a firm set of rules for super funds which can only be changed by a vote of 2/3rds of the parliament and 80% of the Senate.
    Old Geezer
    5th Sep 2016
    5:29pm
    Unfortunately what Labor is asking for hurts the poor not the wealthy which I find very odd indeed.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2016
    6:01pm
    Well Old Geezer isn't that what negotiating is all about? A wants x; B wants y and they settle on z, Win/Win.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2016
    7:46am
    How will it hurt the poor, OG? It affects people with more than $1.6 million in retirement savings and people who can dump $500,000 into super on a whim! Goodness, you are hypocritical. You claimed couples with only $820,000 and no chance of ever earning another cent were ''wealthy''. Now you are screaming that people with twice that much are ''poor''?
    Adrianus
    6th Sep 2016
    11:01am
    Well said Old Man, could not agree more!
    The odds are stacked against a favourable outcome though. :(
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2016
    1:15pm
    Labor wants to disallow those parts of the package that allows people with small balances to catch up in later life. That is how it effect the less well off.
    Anonymous
    10th Sep 2016
    3:33pm
    News flash, OG. The poor can't catch up in later life, or ever!

    Only the well-off will EVER have funds to exceed the limits Labor is proposing. Obviously you are so privileged and have your head so locked in the sand that you don't know what ''poor'' is! No wonder you rant with so much BS assumptions about what YOU think people don't need!
    floss
    5th Sep 2016
    4:27pm
    Sorry Lookfar we have a number of new arrivals and most are on some form of welfare and most that start Noodle Bars etc. do not employ Australian.
    Lookfar
    5th Sep 2016
    4:52pm
    Hi Looney, is your information source hearsay, or can you prove it?
    Seems to me that the information would be available if it was true, after all the Govt would have to bend it's own regulations, perhaps some years ago you would have been correct.
    MICK
    5th Sep 2016
    8:34pm
    The Lebanese community has a high level of welfare dependency. Saw that on the ABS site a few months ago. Not sure about the rest of them but anecdotal information seems to indicate that work is not something that some want because free money is better.
    It's an interesting issue which probably needs m-re information released....but then exposing a particular ethnic group will result in an argument being shut down with calls of discrimination and xenophobia. Welcome to the casino of free speech.
    Lookfar
    6th Sep 2016
    8:39am
    Point is, the 10 year wait for pension means immigrants have to work, and once they have a job and are enjoying the lifestyle benefits of living in Australia, going on the dole is not very attractive, - they might as well have stayed at home, whatever, it is not immigrants who are taking this huge amount of the pension allocation, it is the rich, and the law is being amended to close that loop hole to some degree, - and just remember there are far too many other loopholes that need closing as well, tax dodging etc, so let's not get carried away on a witchhunt for some other problem, when it is really a matter of getting clear on the super changes.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2016
    4:29pm
    I have been reading a bit about the super changes and 700,000 is the number of people who will be worse off.

    The lifetime cap will effect fewer than 200,000 people and most of these have income in the top 10%.

    This includes people with an amount of 2.5 million in super and who take $100,000 tax free in retirement income.

    So it begs the question; why are so many on here upset. It only affects the rich....does it mean they are all on YLC?
    buby
    9th Sep 2016
    6:08am
    YOUR right there loony, how can they start a business, if they have NO money......... NO they don't imploy aussies :(
    FM
    6th Sep 2016
    1:28pm
    Again John Daley of the Grattan Institute is given oxygen as if what he thinks has some special importance. He and Peter Martin have been attacking retirees for the past three years in line with Government intentions to cut pensions and superannuation. They must get a great deal of cash for their comment. These present changes are reasonable if anomalies are sorted out but the opinions of John Daley and Peter Martin do not have any special importance in the argument. Will someone please find out how much John Daley is being paid for fronting a pressure group to justify government policy that is funded by the Government and big business? I am sure it is a lot more than most of the pensioners he has attacked with impunity have as income. I am sure he expects to have very considerable superannuation when he retires. Surely we have had enough of this Institute and this man trying to run the country. His arguments are usually self serving, infantile demagoguery aimed at people presumed to be stupid. If you want research ask an academic.
    Lookfar
    6th Sep 2016
    2:38pm
    What is this rave, FM, where are you coming from?, - have you evidence that the Grattan report is wrong? - what is that evidence?
    Your post seems to be a personal attack on someone (s) and what exactly has it to do with the Superannuation legislation?
    Whilst we on this discussion group, (blog I suppose you would call it) struggle to find the facts with what the pollies say/want and how we should understand/react, it affects our very day to day lives, the old age pension is already too low to live on without extreme struggle for many, (including me) so how do your comments relate to our reality ?
    FM
    6th Sep 2016
    5:38pm
    Lookafar
    If you had followed the debate on the aged pension and superannuation over the past few years you would know that John Daley and Peter Martin have been vehemently advocating a reduction in payments to seniors and increased taxes on retirees regardless of how little they have in superannuation. They have said retirees are the most selfish generation ever and have repeatedly attacked home ownership by retirees. They are usually flying policy for the Government or another group that wants retirees taxed so that their own taxes can be lowered and trying create a generational divide so that young people will support them. John Daley hosted a symposium in Sydney recently about the debt older Australians owe to the young. He is given a status by the media reporting what he says as if it has some objective merit and is not just propaganda. He has severely undermined support for the elderly. We have repeatedly discussed these attacks on retirees by this Institute (and others) on this blog. I guess you have not been following.
    Lookfar
    7th Sep 2016
    12:09pm
    FM, it is obvious that you don't like John Daley etc, and it might be true to argue that the legislation does not go far enough, but the report provides a lot of clarification of the proposed legislation, which is a good start on the problem and obviously some, such as Reasons, did not understand it at all.
    Perhaps your attack on John Daley would have been more appropriate when he had done some of those things you accuse him of, rather than this occasion where he is doing the opposite of what you accuse.
    FM
    7th Sep 2016
    4:26pm
    I agree Lookafar that what is being said this time not something to be concerned about but the notion that the Grattan Institute is a disinterested Think Tank is a dangerous one. What he has said this time is in line with what Mr Morrison and Mr Shorten are saying and he does not need any credit for saying that.
    retroy
    7th Sep 2016
    12:00pm
    "The theory behind the proposed superannuation changes is noble one indeed: to redress the balance between the wealthy and the not-so-wealthy in retirement."
    Just why is this noble?
    Perhaps the author needs to look it up to check the definition, because why do you need to redress the balance unless you are a socialist with those vile thoughts.
    We live in a free enterprise society and if people have worked hard and earned a lot of money just why does some of it have to be ripped off them to "redress" this balance?
    Probably these same people have paid far more taxes because they are taxed at higher rate and have still accumulated wealth. Sure others may not have had the same opportunity, but usually in our society fortune favours the brave.
    Lookfar
    7th Sep 2016
    1:29pm
    retroy, that philosophy is the Predator-Prey idea called Neo-Liberalism, it also fits well with the religion of Materialism,and is antithetical to Democracy, which it inevitably will destroy, a proces well advanced in Australia.
    The problem is that the Predators, ie the Rich, are unrestrained in their greed, and work consciously to increase their power and money as wealthy is defined as success, this means the rich work to own the economic, political and cultural assets of society, and have no place or care for the less rich or poor, who are regarded as "sheep".
    As well as destroying Democracy, research indicates thet they will also destroy their society, and have done so many times in the past, a thoughtful analysis of this can be found at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800914000615
    The Abstract begins, " There are widespread concerns that current trends in resource-use are unsustainable, but possibilities of overshoot/collapse remain controversial. Collapses have occurred frequently in history, often followed by centuries of economic, intellectual, and population decline. Many different natural and social phenomena have been invoked to explain specific collapses, but a general explanation remains elusive.

    In this paper, we build a human population dynamics model by adding accumulated wealth and economic inequality to a predator–prey model of humans and nature. The model structure, and simulated scenarios that offer significant implications, are explained. Four equations describe the evolution of Elites, Commoners, Nature, and Wealth. The model shows Economic Stratification or Ecological Strain can independently lead to collapse, in agreement with the historical record."
    Contrary to your assertion, the predators ardently work to pay as little taxation as they possibly can, and currently in our society fortune favours the unscrupulous and greedy, but in the long term society does not constrain them at it's (our) extreme peril.
    Understanding the measurable consequences of blind avarice does not make one a socialist, nor does Neo-Liberalism lead to freedom except for the very rich, but to a rigid hierarchy of the very wealthy constantly preying on the rest of us whilst society collapses.
    retroy
    7th Sep 2016
    2:32pm
    That theory is all fine LF, but how is it noble to rip money off rich people to redress the balance when ordinary industrious folk worked hard and lived frugally to get a reasonable nest egg and have someone say "You are not entitled to your accumulated wealth"
    We are not talking about blind avarice and that kind of hyperbole. that you quote. Come back down to Earth.
    Anonymous
    10th Sep 2016
    3:25pm
    UMM, news flash, retroy. The people being ripped off are the ordinary hard working industrious folk who lived frugally and saved over $800,000 (for a homeowner couple) for retirement, then saw investment returns smashed and then suffered an income cut of between 25 and 50%. No other group of Australians has been attacked this way! The rich are still partying with their huge superannuation tax concessions and negative gearing concessions and capital gains tax concessions and...etc. etc. etc. And all the talk of reigning them in is so far only suggesting minor tinkering that will not affect more than about 4% of the population.

    Nobody is ripping off rich people to redress the balance. It's the ordinary hard working industrious frugal who are being ripped off - to subsidize the rich!
    cdbstock
    7th Sep 2016
    8:48pm
    How about this - give every retired person the age pension.
    Then have zero gov't incentives for super - tax all super income as ordinary income/.
    People who wish to augment the pension may do so at their option.
    Such a system would: increase tax take; eliminate asset/income tests; reduice staffing at ATO/DVA/Centrelink; make the pension system fairer/
    The savings would more than offset the increased costs of granting every retired person the full age pension.
    Can anyone do the maths?
    buby
    16th Sep 2016
    11:23am
    oh yes that sounds so much fairer, cd, i concurr, but i'm sure the gov would not!!
    Lookfar
    8th Sep 2016
    6:29pm
    Retroy, (comment 58) that is not theory, it is observation of history, culture after culture destroy themselves, mainly from inequality or overuse of resources, - failure to learn from the past is an excessive stupidity, that it was usually driven by blind avarice is not hyperbole, just plain observation.
    A new phenomenon now is informed avarice, where people know they are earning money by damaging the environment and truncating the future of their and all of our grandchildren but they do it anyway, either because they can get away with it or because of allegiance to a political ideology or other such rubbish that they are afraid of examining themselves too closely about.
    Just where are you in all of this Retroy? using hard working rich people to justify the enormously larger number of not hard working rich people whose rip off of taxes is impovereshing the poorer retirees? or are you a genuine hard working rich person that is just not happy with $500,000; of contributions because you can't imagine living on such a low income?
    buby
    9th Sep 2016
    5:53am
    While we the hard working struggle to pay our bills, and live on next to nix, and especially those that have not even been able to get much super. Look at what the pollies are doing. They are really abusing the system
    "Parliamentary entitlements records show Ms Bishop claimed travel allowance the night before and after the Hawthorn versus West Coast game at a cost of $438 each night and more than $500 in chauffeur-driven ComCar expenses.

    Senator Cormann claimed $438 in travel allowance the night before the grand final, while his flight from Canberra cost $654 and his wife's return flight from Perth cost almost $3600.


    Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/09/08/17/38/ministers-defend-money-spent-on-afl-trip#QjDIw9WPf044FfeM.99
    I don't even go to resturants, cause i can't afford too!! i don't go out point blank, cause i can't afford too. I'm disabled, but i worked bloody hard for many a year and paid my taxes, and even then didn't waste my money. What so the pollies are doing it for us now??? NO wonder we in Debt!!! How much more of this goes ON that we don't know about.
    We really do need to think these Pollies out before they stuff up our country good and proper???
    ex PS
    9th Sep 2016
    6:10pm
    As long as their is the level of unsurety around Super that there is it will be a lame duck.
    We are not sure if we will be able to access it when we want to as the retirement age keeps changing, we don't know if we will be able to take out a lump sum if we want, we don't even know if any residual funds will be made available to our kids.
    If Super was a private investment fund I would not go anywhere near it. In fact under the present conditions I feel that it is disgraceful that people are forced to put their hard earned money into it.
    buby
    16th Sep 2016
    11:21am
    OH Do the pollies really know what they are doing. Look at what else they are UP too.
    Journalists are on the frontlines exposing dodgy corporate behaviour using the ASIC database. They know best the risks of privatisation, which is why they're speaking up. Will you back them in?
    Australia's leading journalists have been "left with no choice but to speak out".

    Eighty four journalists have launched a powerful Open Letter to Malcolm Turnbull, detailing the threats to media freedom and corporate accountability of the ASIC database sell off.1

    They say that if the Turnbull Government puts the corporate database under corporate control, it will impede their ability to scrutinise tax dodging, bribery, trafficking and other shady corporate affairs.
    The timing could not be better, with politicians back in Canberra this week.2 That's why we're giving this everything we've got at this, taking their message straight to the nation's capital.

    This Thursday, we'll deliver our 58,000-strong ASIC petition and Open Letter from Journalists in a flashy media stunt in front of Parliament House. This very same day, we'll run a full page ad in the Canberra Times – making sure our message is seen by every single MP and Senator in the country.
    But to pull it all off, we need as many GetUp members chipping in as possible. Will you be a part of it?

    Click here to read the Open Letter from top Australian journalists, then chip in for a full page ad in Thursday's Canberra Times.

    A few weeks ago, no one had heard of the ASIC registry – now the petition has over 58,000 signatures. Thousands of GetUp members have contacted their local MP, and tens of thousands have shared the ASIC explainer video reaching over half a million Australians.

    All of this public pressure forced Finance Minister Mathias Cormann to confirm last week that the
    Coalition is yet to make a final decision about whether to proceed with the sell off.

    It's up to us to make this Open Letter as big and powerful as possible – by lifting up the voices of the journalists who shine bright lights on the dark underbelly of corporate Australia. First, with a full page ad in the Canberra Times, followed by a loud, showy petition delivery at Parliament House that same day.

    Click here to turn the heat up on ASIC as politicians gather in Canberra this week.
    buby
    16th Sep 2016
    11:26am
    the thing is the gov, want to sell off the database, and the journo's are trying to stop it. WE should back them.
    buby
    16th Sep 2016
    11:26am
    https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/asic-privatisation/open-letter/can-you-chip-in-for-a-full-page-ad?t=meONpskMQ