Time to rob the ‘super’ rich

It’s time to rob the rich, says Industry Super Australia (ISA), which has called on the government to end super tax breaks that clearly favour the wealthy.

The powerful superannuation industry lobby’s submission to the retirement income review states that tax concessions for superannuation that favour the rich need to be overhauled and that because of this imbalance, men also get an outsized share of super tax breaks.

In a Guardian report, the ISA slammed the super gender gap and say the top 10 per cent of taxpayers, who earn more than $124,000 a year, get an annual average tax advantage on their super contributions of $3677, which is 75 times the $49 a year received by someone earning just $22,000.

“It is clear that the equity and efficiency of government supports, including tax concessions, need to be considered to ensure the supports are being appropriately targeted at those that need it the most – not the least,” said ISA chief Bernie Dean.

“Entrenched inequities must be examined as part of the retirement income review, otherwise we will continue to see women retire with about half the amount of super than men, and low-income earners retire with persistently low super balances.”

The ISA submission also knocks a Grattan report released last year, in which the institute called on the government to abandon its plan to increase compulsory contributions from nine per cent to 12 per cent in the next five years.

ISA research shows that men of retirement age on average have more than $188,000 in super against the $133,000 average balance held by women – a 30 per cent gap.

“Clearly, superannuation balances benefit from compound earnings over a full career and the gender super gap from career breaks can persist even if the pay gap is subsequently reduced,” stated ISA.

It also called on Treasury to abolish the minimum pay level of $450 a month required before super is paid, and to review super paid on parental leave as well as tax offsets for low-income earners.

Do you think the super concessions for the top 10 per cent of earners are fair?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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