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SMSF Industry pressures Government to leave superannuation alone

Glenn Fairbairn
Director/Private Client Adviser
25 Feb 2013

Last week my colleagues and I attended The SMSF Professional Association of Australia (SPAA) National Conference. In addition to providing high level technical content it also provided an opportunity for the industry to voice their concerns with the Government on speculation surrounding proposed changes to superannuation.

As we have said many times via this forum, further changes to superannuation will undermine confidence in a system that has been so successful in encouraging Australians to save for their retirement and reduce the burden on social security. Targeting superannuation for a short term tax grab will only cost the government over the long term via additional social security payments.

Speaking at the SPAA 10th Anniversary Gala Dinner, Andrea Slattery, CEO of SPAA, echoed these comments.  Andrea stated that the cost of the superannuation tax concession was measured by Treasury simply as the tax revenue that the Government had forgone. Andrea stated that “while the concessions are expensive in terms of tax forgone, the current argument debate ignores that concessions are essential to the three-pillar retirement system; (the prospect of) future relief from the age pension; other benefits such as a national pool of domestic savings; and the potential loss of tax revenue from individuals using other vehicles to save for retirement.”

In addition to Andrea’s comments, former High Court judge Sir Anthony Mason criticised the Government for undermining confidence in superannuation. Mason suggested that superannuation should be treated as having equal standing with the family home and commented that the creation of doubt surrounding the future of super could ultimately result in greater pressure on the age pension.  

On the final day of the Conference, Senator Mathias Cormann, Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, criticised the Government for tinkering with superannuation and advised that the Coalition would not be making any changes that would negatively impact superannuation, and acknowledged that the current Concessional Contribution cap of $25,000 was insufficient to allow Australians to adequately save for their retirement. Although such comments can only be taken at face value, it is nonetheless a positive commitment from the Opposition.

Only time will tell what the future holds for superannuation. However, we can all rest assured that the SMSF industry. which represents nearly one million trustees and over $500 billion of assets. will continue to pressure the government to leave superannuation alone.


Hewison Private Wealth is a Melbourne based independent financial planning firm. Our financial advisers are highly qualified wealth managers and specialise in self managed super funds (SMSF), financial planning, retirement planning advice and investment portfolio management. If you would like to speak to a financial adviser on how you can secure your financial future please contact us 03 8548 4800, email info@hewison.com.au or visit www.hewison.com.auPlease note: The advice provided above is general information only and individuals should seek specialised advice from a qualified financial advisor. The views in this blog are those of the individual and may not represent the general opinion of the firm. Please contact Hewison Private Wealth for more information.