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A closer analysis of ‘generation war’ debates reveals that inequalities within generations remain far more significant than those between them. shutterstock

Generational war: a monster of our own making

The political debate over generational equity, which has been rekindled in the past week, now dominates discussions over wealth, government spending and fiscal sustainability. But a closer look at some…
The Financial System Inquiry says the purpose of superannuation is to provide a retirement income that can substitute or supplement the age pension. Lukas Coch/AAP

Murray pushes for fewer super tax breaks but change is unlikely

David Murray’s Financial System Inquiry may call for the removal of superannuation tax breaks but the government’s tax discussion paper, due to be released next week, is unlikely to advocate similar changes…
Big nest egg or small: shouldn’t super fund trustees meet the same professional standards as individual financial planners? Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Murray pinpoints inconsistency on financial advice and super trustees

Finally, Financial System Inquiry chairman, David Murray, has brought some consistency into two hot debates running in finance. Parliament, financial media commentators and a whole range of vested interests…
Australia’s children and grandchildren will not enjoy the fruits of the country’s prosperity as much as their parents. Mate Marschalko/Flickr

Young Australians set to pay for government policy mistakes

Having enjoyed continuously increasing prosperity since the Second World War, Australians have come to expect that each generation will live a better life than the last. But this steady progress may be…
Delaying the super guarantee increase will have widespread repercussions. Shutterstock

Putting a real cost on delaying the super guarantee rise

The Abbott government’s deal with the Palmer United Party to freeze the minimum superannuation contribution rate at 9.5% until 2021 will not only cost retirees, it will also see future governments forced…
Despite the fact that Australians are getting wealthier, financial literacy is not increasing at the same rate. shutterstock

Millions of households are missing out on good financial planning

The wealth profile of Australian households has changed phenomenally over the past 25 years, according to a recent paper from the Australian Centre for Financial Studies. Thanks to increases in asset prices…
The emphasis on the lump sum in superannuation unfairly moves risk to individuals. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Superannuation: make income the outcome

Having led the world in the 1990s in embracing defined contribution retirement plans, Australia now is rightly reviewing whether the design of its retirement income system is meeting the needs of Australians…
The focus is shifting to how Australians access their super to fund retirement. Wendy House/Flickr

Turning super into income: inquiry opens retirement funding debate

A good proportion of the Financial System Inquiry’s 460-page interim report is dedicated to a discussion of superannuation and, in particular, to making the financial system better at facilitating the…
Australia’s massive superannuation sector is costly compared with its global counterparts. Joel Carrett/AAP

Financial system inquiry sets sights on super: experts react

Australia’s financial system is competitive and well regulated, but more work is required to boost superannuation competition, according to the interim report of the Financial System Inquiry, led by former…
Conflicts abound in Australia’s financial system. Dan Peled/AAP

Three financial system flaws David Murray can’t ignore

At the current frequency of financial system inquiries (Campbell 1982, Wallis 1997, Murray 2014) there will not be another until 2030. That makes this week’s interim report from David Murray all the more…
Friend to the battlers: Clive Palmer says he’ll oppose the repeal of a superannuation top up scheme for low incomes earners. AAP/Alan Porritt

Clive Palmer, the unlikely friend of low income earners

The low income superannuation contribution is rapidly becoming a case study in the perils of linking unrelated policy initiatives. The scheme, a federal government contribution of up to $500 to people…
New Zealand’s opposition party has a long road to tread to support its case for compulsory super. Trey Ratcliffe/Flickr

New Zealand wants to copy our super: here’s why it’s a bad idea

Australians and New Zealanders have a healthy rivalry about who follows who. Both countries claim as their own Pavlova, Crowded House and Phar Lap. To this list might soon be added compulsory superannuation…
When Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey present policies as if they are not choices, we should be sceptical. What choices has the government rejected? Daniel Munoz/AAP

A fiscal crisis? It’s about political priorities and neglected choices

As the 2014-15 budget nears, Australians are hearing that the government must mount an urgent repair job to address the looming structural crisis that will see the budget in deficit for decades to come…
Women are often left behind in the super stakes. Kicki/Flickr

Superannuation sharing can help bridge the gender divide

Anyone who has been married knows there is a lot of compromise involved. Each party gives up something in order to get the benefits which can arise from sharing. Nobody get exactly what he or she wants…
Older workers are already working longer; but the debate around paying for the Age Pension has only just begun. Eric Yen/Flickr

Age Pension debate makes clear: adequate super is pivotal

Talk about increasing the Age Pension eligibility age to 70 has generated a lot of anxiety and indignation. What seems to be going unnoticed in all the hype is that we have just experienced a round of…
Having enough money for retirement will take more super contributions than most Australians are making. Shutterstock

Why Australians don’t make extra super contributions

Australians are increasingly relying on superannuation for their retirement income, but despite more than 20 years of compulsory super, many people are not retiring with enough. The assets under management…
From July, the ATO will be able to levy new fines on self-managed superannuation fund trustees. Shutterstock

Taxing times for self-managed super funds

Self-Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs) are the fastest growing sector of the superannuation industry, spiking by 33% between 2008 and 2012, putting them in the sights of both the super industry and…

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