The Australia Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. We expect the Royal Commission to be swamped by submissions that relate to specific examples of misconduct. Our submission tries to take a step back and consider the extent to which
The record-slow pace of wage growth in Australia’s economy is not just making it difficult for families to balance their budgets, it also threatens severe long-run damage to Australia’s superannuation retirement system. That’s the finding of new research from the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute. A key factor behind the wage slowdown
The Abbott Government, as part of its ‘budget repair’ efforts, wanted in the 2014 Budget to increase the pension age to 70 and to restrict pension indexation to the price index, meaning that the pension will fall relative to general community standards. It has now walked away from CPI indexation in the face of overwhelming
The Australian government is currently willing to boost the retirement incomes of wealthy Australians by providing low cost ‘reverse mortgages’ through Centrelink. The Pension Loan Scheme (PLS) allows eligible Australians to receive payments equivalent to the full age pension paid into their bank account on a fortnightly basis, borrowed from the government and secured against
As Australia’s population ages, government policies that assist retirement will become even more essential. Superannuation tax concessions and the age pension are the two key government policies that assist the ageing, but they are becoming increasingly expensive. Increasing costs have prompted the Treasurer, Mr Joe Hockey to suggest the pension age be increased to 70.
There is much public debate about the role of ‘choice’ when it comes to women and work in Australia – but structural factors appear to play a stronger role in shaping the labour market experience of women. The persistent gap between male and female remuneration for similar work and the gendered nature of informal care
Superannuation is unlike any other product in Australia. There is no other product that all employees are forced to spend nine per cent of their income buying. In fact, the proportion of income spent on compulsory superannuation is to rise to 12 per cent by 2020. But it is not just individuals that spend a
Australians spend more money each week on superannuation fees than they do on electricity, yet only a small portion of those with superannuation pay close, if any, attention to the decisions made on their behalf by their superannuation ‘trustees’. Similarly, while Australian households now hold nearly $1 trillion in institutional superannuation funds few, if any,
Australian taxpayers contributed $30.2 billion to the private accounts of that portion of the population with superannuation 2011-12. By 2015-16 this sum is projected by Treasury to rise to more than $45 billion by which time it will be, by far, the single largest area of government expenditure. By 2015-16 the taxpayer contribution of $45
Since 2005, the great majority of Australian workers have been able to choose their own superannuation fund. While some people have taken advantage of greater choice in super, for many people choice is actually a burden. Widespread lack of engagement with superannuation means that competition in this sector is structured around intermediaries (like financial advisers)
Superannuation tax concessions have long been a bone of contention for the welfare sector, which views them as redistributing scarce resources away from low-income earners towards the secure and privileged well-off. This has created a political battleground, with the welfare groups lining up against the super industry represented most notably by ASFA. Reform options are
Examines the benefits that an ageing population will bring to many areas of Australian life and concludes that there is a silver lining to the fog of pessimism currently clouding the perceptions of policy makers and governments.