Consultation begins on legislating objective of super

Australian Treasury

The Albanese Government is taking the next step towards legislating an objective for superannuation.

A consultation paper released today seeks feedback from Australians about the benefits, phrasing and implementation of an objective for superannuation.

This is about making super stronger. A stronger super system means a stronger economy.

We want to protect super because we know that by doing this, we’re safeguarding retirement savings and improving the living standards of Australians.

Our superannuation system is the envy of the world. But the last decade has seen the former government raid the superannuation system for their own purposes – with devastating impacts on Australians’ savings.

Despite its central role in the retirement income system, there is no agreed objective of superannuation, legislated or elsewhere, to serve as a guide for policy makers, government, regulators, industry, and the wider community.

We need to change that.

Legislating an objective for super – a Labor commitment at the last election – will give confidence to the super industry and peace of mind to Australian workers that we’ll do everything we can to safeguard their savings to deliver income in retirement.

The consultation paper that we’re releasing today sets out our proposed definition of the objective: “to preserve savings to deliver income for a dignified retirement, alongside government support, in an equitable and sustainable way.”

Given the increasing number of Australians entering retirement age, there needs to be a greater focus on how our world‑class superannuation system is delivering strong retirement outcomes.

Superannuation is an increasingly important source of capital in our economy and the significant scale of Australia’s superannuation system contributes to the strength of our financial markets through capital deepening.

There is a significant opportunity for Australia to leverage greater superannuation investment in areas where there is alignment between the best financial interests of members and national economic priorities, particularly given the long‑term investment horizon of superannuation funds.

For these broad benefits of superannuation to be maximised, it’s critical for there to be a clear, shared understanding of the objective of superannuation.

Legislating an objective for super is about instilling greater confidence in the system for generations to come.

The consultation paper and information about the consultation process are available on the Treasury website.  Submissions close on 31 March 2023.

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