With a further round of pre-Budget speculation on superannuation tax changes today, industry super fund Vision Super said its members’ trust in a system that had already been subject to over 25 major changes in three decades would be further undermined.
Last month the Assistant Treasurer described the tax concessions on superannuation as a “gift”, in a move clearly designed to warm the public up for super tax changes.
“Our members have told us they don’t trust what the Government might do to their super, and the constant rumours around possible changes only further erode confidence,” Vision Super CEO Stephen Rowe said.
“In the past few weeks alone, changes to the concession caps have been floated and now apparently ruled out, and several different changes to the tax rates on super contributions have been suggested.
“We welcome the indications that concession caps might not be tampered with in next week’s Budget, but super fund members need more than speculation and background media briefings.
“While super is constantly earmarked for raiding and the tax concessions described as a ‘gift’, other tax breaks, like family trusts, negative gearing, and capital gains, are either defended or made more generous.”
Stephen Rowe said superannuation tax concessions have been targeted for change more than any other area of taxation.
“Since the removal of the virtually tax-free status of super benefits in 1983, there have been more than 25 significant super tax changes.
It should be remembered that superannuation is working people’s foregone wages. Super contributions would otherwise form part of an employees’ salary if super were removed from the equation.
For this sacrifice, working Australians are entitled to a concession.
“But these concessions have been gradually chipped away at over the last 30 years to the point where any further changes will become a deterrent to boosting private retirement savings.”
Find Stephen Rowe on Twitter: @StephenRoweCEO