Renewed calls to remove super from political cycle
Friday, 19 February 2016 1:01pm

Superannuation policy decisions must be taken out of the Budget and election cycles to prevent a drop in confidence in the system.

That was the shared view of a panel of policy experts at the SMSF Association National Conference in Adelaide that included the industry body's head of policy Jordan George, former Labor Cabinet Minister Craig Emerson and professor of finance at Monash University Deborah Ralston.

George tabled the idea that reviews of super should be linked to the five-yearly Intergenerational Report to prevent over-politicisation of the system, to the agreement of the rest of the panel.

Successive parties have pledged to stave off from tinkering with the country's retirement savings but, once in government, the temptation to adjust policy has often proved too great.

Ralston and Emerson argued that superannuation tax concessions should be scaled back to help the Government respond to its ongoing 'Budget emergency'. George was less convinced, saying more should be done to promote independence in retirement.

"Our view is that the current tax incentives are appropriate. With the current level of contribution caps it would be quite difficult for someone to build the types of super pots we're seeing at the highest end now," said George. "Taking the SG to 12% is a really important policy."

Ralston said she felt there was "room for improvement" in the way super was being administered.

"We're 20 years into a system that will be mature at the 40 year mark so now is a good time to review it. You have to make sure incentives are well targeted and lead to better outcomes at the end," she said.

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