Labor eyes super for start-up boost
Thursday, 18 February 2016 1:13pm

The Federal Opposition thinks more should be done to boost investment in Australia's start-ups.

Addressing an audience of industry professionals at the SMSF Association National Conference in Adelaide, Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Jim Chalmers, made the comments in the context of the worst start to a year on record for the share market and considerable challenges for the Australian economy.

"More needs to be done to improve capital flows to support Australia's start-ups. Tapping into Australia's $2 trillion savings pool is one way to do this," Chalmers said, adding: "Of course, our enormous pool of super capital plays a role in feeding economic growth."

The Labor minister said it's not the job of government to favour one segment of superannuation over any other but to ensure that the system was working efficiently to encourage greater saving for retirement.

"A balanced view of super acknowledges the growth potential of our savings and also puts people at the centre of the system, ensuring that it is structured to provide the best possible returns to members. This is a particular challenge given the volatility of global markets, and it effects all parts of the system," he said.

"We want to make sure that there are safeguards and filters in place to ensure whatever super fund people end up with is best for them. As the [SMSF] Association has said, it's crucial that people have enough information, and the right information, about their super investments to make informed choices."

Chalmers also restated Labor's commitment to lifting the super guarantee. "A good level of savings gives people the best chance of a decent standard of living in retirement. This is why the super guarantee needs to go to 12% over time, not frozen as it has been three times, and with a permanent freeze flagged in the press," he said.

He also reinforced Labor's super policy: "Our proposal is that people with fund earnings over $75,000 be taxed at the same rate as earnings in the accumulation phase. The measure will only affect approximately 60,000 account holders with super balances in excess of $1.5 million. We'll also lower the threshold on the High Income Superannuation Charge from $300,000 per annum to $250,000."

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