19th Jan 2016
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Superannuation – no escaping the share market link
Superannuation – no escaping the share market link

In an opinion piece for the Herald Sun today, former federal treasurer Peter Costello has taken a shot at our superannuation system, suggesting governments need to focus more on where super is invested, rather than threaten higher taxes.

The first two weeks in January have not been kind to the stock market, with an eight per cent fall in the Australian market and similar decreases felt around the world. So far in 2016, the Australian and US stock markets have experienced the worst start to a calendar year, ever.

Following on from this point, Mr Costello asks this question of the readers: “So what kind of crazy-brave person has been putting new money into the stock market during the period it has been falling like this?” His answer: “Practically every working Australian.”

While there are some working Australians who hold their own self-managed super fund (SMSF) or are rigorous about changing the setup of their super fund, most average working Australians have their superannuation paid into shares by default.

Mr Costello points out that while governments show great interest in legislating the amount that can go into your superannuation, and even greater interest in taxing that money, they fail to show anywhere near enough interest on what happens to those funds once they are paid into the account.

According to Mr Costello, there is a lot of fear and speculation around potential changes to the superannuation system and changes to tax and contribution rules. He believes that if the Government wants to extract full income tax on super contributions, people should be able to opt out of the system altogether.

Finishing off his opinion piece, Mr Costello said, "Our stock market is still 30 per cent below its level of eight years ago. There’s a lot of lost years for people to make up and a lot of lost wealth. You can see why people prefer to put their voluntary savings in less volatile assets like residential housing. They’re more careful with their money than the Government is."

Opinion: Making sense on super

It may not feel like it, but we are most likely just several months away from a Federal Election. The single biggest issue for older workers and retirees heading into the next election is undoubtedly the future of the superannuation system and the knock-on effects to the future of the Age Pension.

It was interesting to read Mr Costello’s column in today’s Herald Sun where he highlights flaws in the current superannuation system in regards to the average Australian worker.

Unfortunately, his statement taking a political shot at super funds, “for most people it is an industry fund set up by unions and employers…”, is factually incorrect. According to the Association of Superfunds of Australia (ASFA), most assets and accounts are in the retail sector, not industry funds.

It is also disingenuous to criticise ‘Canberra’ when Mr Costello’s own policy, as then Treasurer, was to stall super contributions at nine per cent for years, resulting in far lower balances for most working Australians today.

However, Mr Costello is correct about one thing: there are a lot of unknowns and concerns from older Australians in regards to the superannuation system currently, with no certainty of future changes if another government gains power.

And yes, for the superannuation system to succeed, all political parties need to agree on, and secure, the future of super so that Australians can plan their retirement without the worry of significant future changes.

What do you think? Did Mr Costello raise some valid points? Is superannuation the single biggest issue for older workers heading into the next election? Do default superfund allocation models need to be reviewed?





    COMMENTS

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    PIXAPD
    19th Jan 2016
    10:28am
    Exciting times, the ASX is down again today.....Super funds are dropping like a stone, will folks end up broke or will the Super funds begin to earn? that is the question. I do not care either way..but it's fun to watch. The full aged pension is loads of money and enough to live on anyway and even save up to $1000 a month of it. Folks are watching their Super balance drop each day this year and it's only the beginning of things to come, so hang on for the roller coaster ride of your life OH YEAH..
    in2sunset
    19th Jan 2016
    11:55am
    Can you please tell me HOW a person, especially a single pensioner, can save $1000 a month, with costs as they are? Load of rubbish! My single aunt struggles like he'll yet she lives so frugally, can't afford air conditioning, her house is worth less than $400k. Rates alone are $58 a week.
    MICK
    19th Jan 2016
    1:37pm
    We do indeed live in interesting times. With the cost of oil down and coal dropping like a (black) rock one has to sit back and wait for all other assets (which are directly related to energy costs) drop. And then the trickle will become a stampede. And then boomers will stop consuming many things and spend to be able to live. Anybody who thinks she'll be right needs to go and get another dose of optimism medicine. The wonderful retirement we were all promised is unravelling faster than an antacid tablet in a glass of water!
    Bonny
    19th Jan 2016
    2:01pm
    It just anther phase I the market cycle. I'm just waiting for it to turn and then ride it backup again. Looking forward to riding up that 30% plus some.
    MICK
    19th Jan 2016
    2:19pm
    Going to use your pension to buy stocks eh?
    PIXAPD
    19th Jan 2016
    9:31pm
    OK then let's make it easier, you can save $600 a month, easy, The full aged pension plus supplements and rent assistance is loads.
    in2sunset
    20th Jan 2016
    8:12am
    Once again - rubbish. As stated, if you own your home, you don't get rent assistance. You must have no health issues, not bother with insurances, not own a car, not have to worry about house maintenance, not eat, and don't have electricity or candles. Total bull.
    PIXAPD
    20th Jan 2016
    8:26am
    Now I've gone and upset the unbelievers, I do have candles, and they give my affordable living studio a nice warm glow in Winter, only $2 for packet of 6. Me wind up gramophone from 1925 with me Al Jolson records so no need for power there.
    PIXAPD
    20th Jan 2016
    9:07am
    IF the way I budget upsets others, then...I ask as the good professor also asked ... WHY IS IT SO ?
    Greg
    23rd Jan 2016
    10:02pm
    We own our home and retirement is a few years off yet, however I worked out that we at this point in time would need $33000.00 PY to survive the way we currently are (and very happy). This includes top cover health insurance, car costs and going out to eat once a week. It can be done.
    bob
    19th Jan 2016
    10:29am
    I think Mr Costello is missing the limelight and should look at where he left the budget and what he did for our economy instead of trying to become a public figure again
    TwainAndHume
    19th Jan 2016
    10:39am
    Nothing to see there, bob, don't remind him of what he did when in power.
    MICK
    19th Jan 2016
    1:48pm
    Yeah....a Baby Bonus. Look what we now have? Young women with babies on welfare. The public tick. Thanks Peter. The country really needed that!
    TwainAndHume
    19th Jan 2016
    10:38am
    Peter Who? Oh, yes, that fellow who helped blow the last mining boom profits on bribes to the public in attempts to keep the LibNats in Federal power indefinitely. How did that work out?
    MICK
    19th Jan 2016
    1:48pm
    Yes. Funny how few people ever mention that.
    TwainAndHume
    19th Jan 2016
    10:46am
    I wonder how Peter Costello is enjoying the Federal pension he receives now for life? It is interesting that pollies are always advocating that the rest of Australians rely on their superannuation accounts to live in their old age (which, in turn, are reliant upon the nebulous authenticity of the stock market) while, they are comfortable in knowing they can rely on that indexed, generous state pension?

    Why are adequately funded and secured state and private pensions not the way to go in the future for all? Oh, that is right, the country can't afford such things ... just as it can't afford the health or education systems. However, it can afford to maintain a military adventure in the middle east for thirteen years? And it can afford those billions and billions for overly advanced fighter planes and most likely never to be used submarines? The priorities are skewed. But that is true not only of Australia, they are skewed in the same way in the US and Britain.
    ray from Bondi
    19th Jan 2016
    11:52am
    yep, they do not have any idea, and I wonder why any changes to THEIR super system is vehemently fought.
    MICK
    19th Jan 2016
    1:49pm
    Rules for some, (different) rules for the rest of society!
    marls
    23rd Jan 2016
    7:41am
    Mick
    Spot on politician should be on the same rule as everyone else
    Batara
    19th Jan 2016
    10:54am
    Perhaps superannuation might be an issue for the greedy and selfish. For mine the biggest issue is compassion and humanity - how we treat other humans. The two major parties have failed on compassion and dehumanized victims of war and oppression desperate enough to risk their lives to get to Australia. Who do I vote for? Dunno. Independents, and small parties like Xenophon, Lazarus and so on maybe. Labor is ahead of LNP on most issues, but on the big one of compassion they fail.
    MICK
    19th Jan 2016
    1:54pm
    Not too sure I agree with you Batara. Remember that governments are not supposed to be money vending machines as we expect them to spend our money wisely. Well that's another story!
    If you want to talk about empathy consider that Labor did not go after poor and average citizens with the next round of 'Work Choices'. The current government is doing just that. And the previous government did not attack the poor with a new GST on everything. The current government is doing that as we write.
    I will agree that Independents are the way forward as they are not totally prostituted like the current government which is big business controlled and owned.
    Paulodapotter
    19th Jan 2016
    2:01pm
    I'm with you Batara. The conversation so far has been totally self centred. We need to open our eyes to the world and maybe others won't keep taking a pot shot at us. We are so inward looking that our big issues are about a West Indian cricketers comment to a journalist - shish! Two of my friends are helping refugees on Lesvos, and even though I sent some news of what they are doing there to the Courier Mail, they haven't even bothered getting back to me. Have a look on https://sowphiya.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/moria-refugee-camp-lesvos-greece/
    It's amazing what some unselfish people can do.
    Rae
    19th Jan 2016
    4:37pm
    Yes Paul.

    I spent a bit of time wandering Greece and was always impressed by the kindness to those in need.

    One beautiful example is the botanical garden in Athens. It has hundreds of year old kennels built into the walls to house stray dogs in winter. I often saw elderly women feeding stray cats and dogs.

    The garden has a wonderful fountain to provide shelter and water for the insects, bees and birds in the dry summer.

    It is so sad that Greece has borne the brunt of the GFC.
    buby
    20th Jan 2016
    9:53am
    batara, that was the rich that made it too australia, the poorer ones are still in their country???
    buby
    20th Jan 2016
    9:58am
    What we really need to do is to focus on our back yard not to poke our noses in other countries business. We have enough that are not working, and this government is trying to screw the poor, and those disabled, instead of focusing on the healthy and not working ppl.
    Stop picking on those that are struggling to cope into their old age.
    And start creating jobs, for those that need it. INvest in us, then you won't lose on the stock market. The housing crisis, is SEVERE, build proper housing for those that need it.....MOSTLY the Elderly. and the money you invest i'm sure will come back to you and you will lose a lot less than you do on the stock market. Which many who are managing their own Super funds are doing and they won't lose a thing.
    marls
    23rd Jan 2016
    7:44am
    Batar
    Vote Australian Liberty alliance ,Pauline Hanson, Fred Nile or fortitude etc. the 2 main parties will destroy this country and end up like europe
    GrayComputing
    19th Jan 2016
    10:59am
    The responsibility for superannuation and rates of returns should be the government.
    Why can't we be allowed put super into the successful Australian future fund solely under government control with no legal robber baron financial companies allowed to further gorge themselves at the super trough.
    Superannuation will only become fair when all politicians super is placed in the same
    Australian future fund.
    Currently no politician of a few terms gives a rats about our superannuation losses

    It does appear that this site attracts financial and super advisors who make comments without any declaration of self interest. These cowardly mongrels pontificate on this site and say how great it is all going and just be patient while they run away with more of our money.
    Batara
    19th Jan 2016
    11:05am
    I have the same suspicion GC. In my books financial planners should be dealt with in the same way as drug dealers or people smugglers. At the very least seen that way in the eyes of society.
    ray from Bondi
    19th Jan 2016
    11:53am
    here here, it will never happen though, they are a protected species.
    MICK
    19th Jan 2016
    1:57pm
    Don't want to throw water over the flames but be aware that both sides of politics have been circling the superannuation industry for some time. They want to nibble away at the edges and cream some of the loot off for government to spend (waste!). Don't expect anything to change and I read that a government will in the not too distant future nationalise superannuation. Then thye can thieve all they like.
    Vote for an Independet!
    Bonny
    19th Jan 2016
    2:04pm
    The responsibility for superannuation and rates of returns should be the individual not the government.
    buby
    20th Jan 2016
    10:00am
    I think your correct Gray computing.
    and do they know what they hell they are on about. MMM
    I wonder
    retroy
    20th Jan 2016
    1:23pm
    Sorry Gray
    I thought the same about the Future fund and said so, before reading your colourful and succinct comment.
    Have a nice day.
    PIXAPD
    19th Jan 2016
    11:07am
    I pray to the Lord who gives me my financial plan...it's simple and works
    Anonymous
    19th Jan 2016
    11:37am
    Well PIXAPD you seem like you are on the full pension I call people like you bludgers as you can"t provide for yourself and so a welfare receiver at the taxpayers expense. Wait until the government put you lot on food stamps that might fix you bludgers up because it will happen in a year or two
    PIXAPD
    19th Jan 2016
    11:58am
    robbo... I cannot help but agree with you. Indeed it's a terrible thing for me to have worked from age 13 years, paid tax and then had the gall to apply for the aged pension at 65, how rude was that?

    AND yet here I am getting free licence, rego and other things, Gold Opal card and $2:50 daily cap, prescriptions for $5:20, discounts on power and gas bills. So many of us 'aged pensioner bludgers' out there you know

    And you a shining light to Australia and a blessing to the Govt, a person who would claim NONE of those things from the Govt, you would not even ask for discount on your utilities and would even refuse them if offered to you. Not even a part pension will you take.
    Anonymous
    19th Jan 2016
    12:48pm
    You got me in one go Pixad don"t get anything from the Government able to make me own way and so is my family we have MORALS pity all Australia wasn"t like this, COUNTRY would be a better place.

    (keep in mind the food stamps for you lot it is coming very soon).
    MICK
    19th Jan 2016
    2:04pm
    Gentlemen.............seriously.
    The issue is that the rules are in place robbo. Also not everybody is able to make good and not everybody has opportunity and the gifts to make it all happen.
    My issue is not with a person who works a full life and then collects a pension. My beef is with those amongst us who bleed the system from the day they are born, live a stress free life without working, suck the lifeblood out of the safety net when they should be getting nix and then get the full pension as well as other add-ons to sustain their miserable worthless selves.
    I congratulate you on success robbo. I dare say you have used the tax outs to their maximum benefits as well. So let's not throw stones at a person who has WORKED and is now retired.
    "Life wasn't meant to be easy" but people were meant to be honest and ethical. Few are.
    Bonny
    19th Jan 2016
    2:09pm
    I don't condemn anyone who is on welfare that needs it. It's those who arrange things so they are entitled to it that present a problem to me. These are the real bludgers and one of the reasons behind the new asset test rules. These people do not need the pension.
    PIXAPD
    19th Jan 2016
    9:10pm
    Wonder how many food stamps will be in a book? ha ha
    Oldman Roo
    19th Jan 2016
    9:40pm
    Bonny, There really is no room left for arranging " things " under the new asset test rules other than living in a very expensive home . Unfortunately we are not going to see high value home exceptions changed because too many wealthy and Politicians may be affected .
    If this Government wants to be fair to all , any house value over 2 Million should be included in the assets test , including Politicians . In some States that value would still be generous at the i Million mark .Regrettably many elderly no longer have the health and energy to go through the strenuous process of purchasing and moving to a more expensive home . Abbott - Morrison probably knew they could not escape the often very unfair limits when someone is around the cut off rate and needs monthly interest payments to make ends meet . And we all know how low these type of returns are in these days .
    Strummer
    20th Jan 2016
    8:49am
    Rules of Quidditch: The Bludger is a jet black iron made ball, and it is used in Quidditch. It is 10" in diameter, and there are two of them.
    There are two Bludgers used in every match, and which are bewitched to fly around and knock the players off their brooms.
    It is the beaters job to protect their teammates from the Bludgers and at the same time aim them towards the other team.
    - J. K. Rowling
    tj
    20th Jan 2016
    4:41pm
    Hey Pixapd ,free licence and rego how on earth you get that? Also what is a green opal card?
    PIXAPD
    22nd Jan 2016
    6:45pm
    tj.. Free licence and rego...... no problem as to green opal card, I recommend Specsavers for I wrote... GOLD
    TwainAndHume
    19th Jan 2016
    11:17am
    Recommended viewing .... the new film THE BIG SHORT ..... it will not, fortunately or unfortunately, validate your faith in the markets as dependable .......
    Sceptic
    19th Jan 2016
    1:41pm
    I saw Jurassic Park and know that was real as well.
    MICK
    19th Jan 2016
    2:04pm
    Is that one size too big or two?
    Julian
    19th Jan 2016
    11:34am
    Bob: when the Howard/Costello government left government, the economy was $20 billion in the black. The future fund held $95 billion. We've gone backwards ever since with spending exceeding income, significantly by the poor excuse for a government that followed. Nevertheless, little care and no responsibility once they get the pension. Maybe, like corporate managers, their remuneration should be performance based.
    Batara
    19th Jan 2016
    1:40pm
    Julian, with your keen sense of history no doubt you would be aware of the disaster brought upon North America and Europe by unbridled greed and stupidity soon after the Howard government was voted out of power. You might also have read that Australian society did not suffer to the same extent as other Western nations because of teh actions taken by the Labor government led by Kevin Rudd with Wayne Swann as treasurer. If you read recent history you might realize that Australia's deficit has blown out since Abbott and Hockey got their hands on the Treasury.

    From what I read Costello goes down in history as one of our worst treasurers, matched for the title of worst in history only by John Howard in the Frazer years of squandering mismanagement.
    Paulodapotter
    19th Jan 2016
    2:04pm
    Nasty, but true. Memories are so short.
    MICK
    19th Jan 2016
    2:11pm
    Julian: it always surprises me that disciples of the the current government refuse to acknowledge history when they spew out their statistics. Labor was voted in at the end of 2007. The GFC hit in 2008. Please tell me about how you and your extended family were thrown on the unemployment scrapheap in the years which followed. They were'nt???? How strange! I have news for you: China helped us avoid the GFC but the amount of money the Rudd government threw around was the other stabilising policy. I personally did not agree with this but I could see that nothing else could be rolled out fast enough to achieve this. We did get insulation, PV solar and cost free hot water so there was actually a benefit going forward for the nation. That has not happened with the current bunch of misfits who only understand about sending money to their mates in the big end of town.
    My issue with right wing governments is simple: they are puppets who are owned by big business and the rich and in power to do the bidding of the rich...NOT THE NATION!!
    ray from Bondi
    19th Jan 2016
    11:51am
    plan their retirement without worry not under any of our present political parties, it is just a cash cow, and not used effectively to create jobs, I believe most of the money flows overseas worsening our budget.
    OlderandWiser
    19th Jan 2016
    11:53am
    I think superannuation will be a big election issue, but so will the attitude of politicians to welfare. The vile attacks on pensioners, calling them ''leaners'' and ''a burden'', and the cuts to education and health spending have angered a lot of people. Greed and selfishness have infected our society to a terrifying degree. I think people are going to demand some assurances that our welfare system will be maintained and reasonable living standards preserved for those on pensions, and for retirees whose super isn't adequate to fund a decent standard of living. I think health and education spending will be big issues, as will infrastructure spending. I'm sure Turnbull will try to make union corruption a big issue, but I wonder how far he'll get with that given the perception that big business and political corruption is at least as serious - and not being addressed.

    I think the really big issue will be tax evasion by wealthy corporates, middle class welfare and tax rorts for the well-to-do. I suspect a large portion of the population is thoroughly fed up with the ongoing transfer of wealth to the rich, and wants to see improved equality and a greater focus on social and community health.

    Finally, I hope the GST will be a big issue and that there will be a resounding ''NO'' to increasing it or extending its scope. Battlers simply can't afford it, and compensation always excludes many - those on fixed incomes, retirees with modest assets, low incomes and no pension entitlement, etc. In any case, compensation never proves adequate over time. We don't need this cruel impost. We need a workable income tax system that takes fairly from those who make highest use of public resources, and a welfare system that focuses on the needy rather than the greedy.
    ray from Bondi
    19th Jan 2016
    11:55am
    under the liberal DNA that is to be expected. lets hope there is enough free thinkers on election day and not just sheep blindly believing whatever they are told.
    MICK
    19th Jan 2016
    2:13pm
    What we need to hope for is that the simple minded do not succumb to the slick advertising electioneering and gutter attacks from the big business owned Liberal Party. They are masters at this.
    Blossom
    19th Jan 2016
    3:03pm
    Politicians should be charged for every lie they tell regardless of which political party they belong to.
    Promises from the biggest majority of them are empty talk. e.g.. the introduction of GST,
    Phil1943
    19th Jan 2016
    12:44pm
    Super will be my single biggest issue. It will determine where my vote goes more than any other issue. Can't find a party that's genuinely on the side of seniors. All they seem to want to do is to rip us off one way or another. Gone are the days when pollies thought about us when framing their policies. The coming election is our time to remind them of our presence.
    Bonny
    19th Jan 2016
    2:16pm
    Super will not be a big issue for me as put simply I do not have that much money in super. I could add more but it has too many rules (that can change) that out weigh any tax advantages it might have.

    As a low income earner GST is a much bigger problem as it will make me think twice about spending money. Last thing I want to have to do is waste my time claiming back GST from Centrelink. A rise in GST will be a big negative on the economy.
    Blossom
    19th Jan 2016
    3:26pm
    They encourage us to invest in super and own our own homes.
    Commonwealth Govt. is cutting back on paying State grants from money they receive from . State and Local Govt. Taxes are fast exceeding what people can afford to pay. Even for very basic homes with, 3 bedrooms, one bathroom, single car storage land values are jumping so high taking taxes etc so high in average metropolitan areas that some people need to sell and find somewhere cheaper to live to survive. I am NOT referring to those who choose to eat out, go to the cinema regularly, drink large quantities of alcohol, smoke a large packet or more of cigarettes a day and make no attempt to cut back or even better give up (I understand that is addictive and hard to do), gamble for the fun of it, drive everywhere when they could catch public transport or in some cases take a 10 minute walk (please note: I did say those who can --- I realise not all are able to do so). Some bring financial hardship on themselves.
    More people are using the Public Health system because of the huge Medicare Gaps. e.g. I had a basic chest Xray - took less than 5 minutes - and the gap was $70.00. A private specialist appt. can have a gap of over $100.00 I manage to keep my Private Health Cover. Then you need to try to find a specialist who doesn't charge a big gap on those accounts.
    MICK
    19th Jan 2016
    1:33pm
    Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb!!!
    Superannuation Funds invest in whatever the best return is. I suggest Costello gets back in his hammock and thinks up another dumb policy to pass on like the Baby Bonus. Yeah..."have one for the country".
    In case anybody is unaware the call from the non vested financial interests is that DEFLATION is here for a long time. That means all investments are going down and that cash will hold its value whilst most other assets fall. Superannuation is little more than investments in various asset classes so what else does the hammock dwelling ex-treasurer expect?
    We live in interesting times.
    Blossom
    19th Jan 2016
    3:32pm
    I recently shifted my super into cash accounts within Super Fund, away from other investments within it to reduce the risk. They are already predicting that the value of super will drop this year. According to the report I got yesterday it is already starting to take considerable falls. People will start thinking about the way they spend their money.
    Paulodapotter
    19th Jan 2016
    2:01pm
    I'm with you Batara. The conversation so far has been totally self centred. We need to open our eyes to the world and maybe others won't keep taking a pot shot at us. We are so inward looking that our big issues are about a West Indian cricketers comment to a journalist - shish! Two of my friends are helping refugees on Lesvos, and even though I sent some news of what they are doing there to the Courier Mail, they haven't even bothered getting back to me. Have a look on https://sowphiya.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/moria-refugee-camp-lesvos-greece/
    It's amazing what some unselfish people can do.
    MICK
    19th Jan 2016
    2:15pm
    Not very many people are driven by the self interest refugee issue. This is a beat-up by vested interests to get their way and they will not be happy until there is a Sarah Hanson-Young bridge built to the nation. ANd of course when the deluge destroys the viability of the nation you will blame politicians for this, not yourselves.
    Anonymous
    19th Jan 2016
    4:10pm
    With you mick don't need anymore refugees they only want to kill us.
    Paulodapotter
    19th Jan 2016
    4:41pm
    I find that a surpriseing response from you Mick. This country is built on that bridge. As for yobbo robbo, his reseponse shows no sense of history or proportion.
    RogerA
    19th Jan 2016
    2:12pm
    Good heavens, the media giving exposure to Peter Costello? With tax cuts and the replacement of sales taxes on many items with the GST at a lower rate, the Howard-Costello years led the nation into a spending spree on current consumption, and provision for post-working life through superannuation did not increase as it should have. Perhaps Costello is critical of "super" because he was not the principal architect of a system which overall has served Australia very well indeed? As a member of one of the finest of the industry funds, UniSuper, and a follower of their very good advice on balanced portfolios, investment strategies, awareness of dividend income as well as share prices, etc, I find Costello's criticisms just plain silly. He should tackle some more pressing contemporary questions, such as his present day successor's reliance upon "growing the pie", at a time when it is all too evident (e.g. share prices falling, flatlining of employment, export commodity prices falling, etc) that the pie is shrinking.
    RogerA
    4b2
    19th Jan 2016
    2:13pm
    It's time to tie Taxpayer's superannuation to the same conditions, constraints and benefits as those received by the Members of Parliament. I am not suggesting everyone receives the same level of returns, however it would be better if ordinary taxpayers super was on the same conditions as the politicians. That is to say if a change is made to my super conditions it also applies to them.
    MICK
    19th Jan 2016
    2:16pm
    I agree with that one. Special rules are little more than rules of deceit.
    Bonny
    19th Jan 2016
    2:18pm
    The have changed the rules on parliament pensions which are now I line with other pensions.
    MICK
    19th Jan 2016
    2:21pm
    I was led to understand that, but the devil is (always) in the detail!
    peedee
    19th Jan 2016
    2:37pm
    I bet they have not dropped 10% like mine has in 6 weeks.
    Anonymous
    19th Jan 2016
    4:07pm
    Don't sell peedee and you havn't lost a cent we are all down on paper this is a good time to buy.
    Strummer
    20th Jan 2016
    8:53am
    Buy, Buy Buy!!!
    pete@nakedhydroponics
    19th Jan 2016
    2:59pm
    Here's a crazy idea, instead of making it compulsory for everyone to hand over their hard earned to a bunch of suits, so they can play silly buggers on the stock gamble -and walk away with huge pay and bonuses, win or lose- why not have a 9% tax levy instead? The money collected can be used to fund infrastructure and investment in local businesses, be guaranteed by the gubberment, and offer an absolute fixed rate of interest slightly better than average inflation, say 4.5%. We could give the fund a sexy name, like, I dunno, maybe THE PENSION.
    *Imagine*
    19th Jan 2016
    3:25pm
    That's a great idea, reflections of the 1945 Welfare Fund. Just imagine if history repeats itself, then round about 2055 some politician will see gazillions of cash set aside for old sods who are living too long, and put the gazillion back into consolidated revenue. They would then tell the aged to spend everything that they have accumulated over a lifetime before they can get their sticky greedy mits on a single dollar of the consolidated revenue. They would set up a big expensive administration called Side-Link to ensure that was the case. Ring a bell?
    Dmacca
    19th Jan 2016
    4:01pm
    Yes he does raise valid points. Take CSS for instance. At one time it couldn't give a return below 0%. Then the govt changed the rules and it could go below 0%. There were periods when the returns were getting -15% and -9%. When you are young and too busy working to make ends meet there was no training or information in relation to switching from the default shares to cash for instance (not that there was much choice). It is only when getting towards retirement or in some cases early retirement that the Comm Govt provided "seminars" on what to do presented by a rep from the Commonwealth bank. This of course was geared towards what "they" could do with your money and wasn't until a seminar run by a person from the actual superfund that advice was given in relation to switching to cash to cut down on volatility in the last few years before taking retirement. A little gain is better than negative return. So yes, let's have better control for returns for members instead of feeding the sharks in the system.
    Paulodapotter
    19th Jan 2016
    4:46pm
    I look forward to a day when every superannuee disappears up his or hers own exhaust pipe. We're a nation of superannuation junkies. Look at superannuation only as one of many savings measures and get on with life. What the government giveth, the government can taketh away. It applies to everything you should never rely on.
    roy
    19th Jan 2016
    7:11pm
    I'm enjoying a final salary/defined benefit pension so I'm OK Jack.
    Ron
    19th Jan 2016
    4:54pm
    Influence on where invested should come from re-apportionment of risk and reward. At present the owner of the money takes all the risk while the fund managers continue to take their fees and their staff continue to take their high salaries. No risk at all to them.

    If the first 5% return on any portfolio was reserved for the investor (owner) and any excess shared between the owner and the fund manager, the managers would be more discerning in where they placed investments. Fund managers would have to plan and provide for periods of low return, just like in any other business.
    High salaries for fund managers' staff would then depend on performance and results. Only true value added would be well rewarded.
    Superannuees would get better returns, with better predictability and their retirement life savings would last longer. Leading to less dependence on social security pensions.

    19th Jan 2016
    9:19pm
    For those who believe in cyclic occurrences, this is the year for another seizable downturn in worldwide shares, and the way things are going with economies everywhere on the planet, there could very well be another GFC around the corner. The only real save place, but with meagre returns, are cash options, like term deposits. These are increasing in popularity, due to their safety, but I believe this will also be the force driving interest rates further downwards - the deeming rate being higher than actual realised income from interest. So, it seems we are in a lose-lose situation - STILL! So, seeing that nothing has changed for the better, make the most of your position to hold onto what meagre funds you currently possess. And, good luck.
    Franky
    20th Jan 2016
    10:52am
    Everyone has a choice where their super is invested - if you do nothing it's in the balanced option with a fair share of shares! So there is no-one to blame here, everyone is responsible for their actions or inaction. Educate yourself!
    Big Kev
    20th Jan 2016
    11:07am
    Interesting thing. Costello tried to force unions out of super fund management, but it is those industry funds that are still streets ahead on returns, not the ones run by his business donor mates!
    retroy
    20th Jan 2016
    11:21am
    The Future fund seems to be doing quite well, so rather than let greedy banks and fund managers make a profit, why not open it up for super annuitants for investment.
    The potential for retirees to invest their hard earned super in a well run scheme could make the Future fund even more enormous and successful.
    retroy
    20th Jan 2016
    1:24pm
    Gray has already suggested this yesterday, so I am a day late catching up.
    Retired
    20th Jan 2016
    12:52pm
    Mr Costello raised valid points. However, I believe lack o government guarantee for super accounts (up o $250 K) is a major concern to old Australians. As superannuation is expected to become a hot issue in next election, then I suggest that all related organizations should start lobbying to provide protection for old Australia life savings possibly by extending government guarantee to include super funds in addition to the currently protected accouts per entity per institution....
    PIXAPD
    22nd Jan 2016
    6:52pm
    Amazing how so many folks can't arrange their finances.....age pension with supplements and rent assistance is nearly $1000 a fortnight.. IF a person can't live on that and also save some, then something is really wrong....you don't need Super, but if you have some then you arrange not to use much, if any at all. You should be able to budget with aged pension alone.


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