Soon it will be easier to track where your super money is spent

Are you happy with how your superannuation fund is investing your money?

The federal government has moved a step closer to making it easier for members to know what their fund is doing with their money with the introduction of draft regulations on disclosure requirements as part of the latest Your Future, Your Super reforms.

The final draft regulations, which are open to submissions until 31 August, will require trustees to make publicly available information relating to every investment they hold, including the value of each investment.

Read: Backflip on super laws allows funds to hide fees

The regulations also include introducing a requirement that disclosure information should be easily downloadable from the fund’s website.

Currently, super funds provide only broad information about where the money they hold is invested. For example, it might say that a certain proportion of its total assets are in Australian shares, but not provide information on which companies.

The new regulations will allow fund members and regulators to scrutinise investments down to an individual level.

Read: Superannuation in your later years

In other superannuation news, financial consultancy group KPMG has released a new report that outlines ways to address the gender gap in retirement savings.

As YourLifeChoices reported earlier this month, Australian women are missing out on a combined $550 million in superannuation because the federal government refuses to pay super on top of parental leave.

The KPMG proposal would allow women and men taking time off work to raise children to get additional access to a superannuation tax rebate.

Read: ‘Hidden tax’ costing Aussie women half a billion

The plan involves allowing a primary carer for a child to receive a rebate on the 15 per cent superannuation contributions tax (SCT) paid on contributions made up to five years following the period out of the workforce. This would compensate for superannuation ‘lost’ while at home caring for children.

According to the report, the aim would be to allow the carer to catch up on half of the mandatory concessional contributions that would have been made if they had not taken time out of the workforce.

KPMG chair Alison Kitchen said she believes the primary carer rebate would help to equalise pay and superannuation for women who are losing out on super contributions while out of the workforce.

“Time spent out of employment is a major contributor to unequal levels of superannuation balances, as women miss out on super contributions in some of their peak working years,” Ms Kitchen explained.

“We propose the introduction of a targeted rebate of tax paid on contributions for primary carers as a mechanism to compensate for ‘women’s time out’.

“Without them, women will continue to miss out on vital income during childbearing years that can significantly impact on them later, especially in retirement.”

The KPMG report, which is the eighth in a series aimed at lifting women’s workforce participation and narrowing gender pay gaps, also made a host of other suggestions, including providing top-up super for primary carers of children and removing the five-year limit on using concessional caps.

Do you think more should be done to address the gender gap in retirement savings? What changes would you like to see implemented to ensure that women do not retire into poverty? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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Written by Ben



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