Articles on Superannuation

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Bill Shorten aims to tackle disproportionate superannuation concessions. AAP/Dave Hunt

Richest Australians to take super hit

Next month’s federal budget will hit the generous superannuation tax breaks received by the very richest Australians. The target will be the highest one to two per cent of earners, with the government…
Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan face a significant challenge if they plan to change superannuation. AAP/Alan Porritt

Grattan on Friday: Labor’s super dilemma

Julia Gillard hardly had time for some deep breathing after the cyclone of last week, before her government was hit by fresh buffeting winds. A new round of speculation that the budget would hit superannuation…
A proportion of investors want to avoid controversial asset classes - but would it pay off?

Can super investors really bank on ethical investment?

One quarter of Australians would be willing to switch superannuation funds to avoid investing in coal or coal seam gas, according to a recent survey. Not only does this research raise important questions…
Super funds could fund research initiatives as well as provide good returns to fund members. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Super funds: an investment vehicle for scientific research?

Can the growing stash of super savings be used productively to fund valuable bio-science and other R&D while still generating good returns for fund members? Such research is typically high risk, but…
The current super debate overrides any serious focus on how women carers are disadvantaged and the adequacy of the age pension. AAP

Who is damaged by the current superannuation system?

Media stories about possible changes to superannuation tax concessions generally focus on the “dangers” of reducing the unfair benefits of better off super contributors. Most stories come from financial…
Fairness test: the Federal government has targeted the earnings of single parents while supporting wealthy superannuants. AAP

Current super concessions favour the wealthy - so why aren’t we supporting reform?

It says much about the degeneration of the Australian Labor Party that its priority and target for budget “savings” is poor single mums. In order to save an estimated $723 million over four years, in January…
It’s time for the government to rethink its stance on superannuation guarantee contributions. AAP

Increasing the super contribution rate is a second-rate solution

Australia’s approach to retirement incomes policy has three pillars. The first pillar is the means-tested age pension, which dates from 1909, and is intended to provide a safety net should the other pillars…
A quarter of retirees are using their superannuation lump sum to pay off debt: is this poor planning or the result of tax incentives?

For retirees, nothing is certain but debt and taxes

Will extra debt neutralise increases in the superannuation contribution rate? Studies of retirees’ financial positions show that many people accumulate debt faster than they add to their super. Once they…
Australia’s approach to pensions and super disadvantages women. HarryetN

Australian census: women are living longer, and on less

AUSTRALIA BY NUMBERS: The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the first batch of its census data. We’ve asked some of the country’s top demographers and statisticians to crunch the numbers on…
Why is everyone staying silent about the government’s proposed changes to superannuation?

You may be quietly lining up to lose on your superannuation

Silence surrounds significant changes to your superannuation. While the changes affect many, experienced staff in universities and similar institutions are particularly vulnerable. The halving of the contribution…
“And then there’s this…” Will there be any surprises in store for this year’s budget? AAP

Wish list for Wayne Swan: what the experts want from the budget

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan will be busy tonight handing down the Federal Budget with all the policy settings we’ll need to ensure Australia’s future prosperity (and not simply as a re-election platform…
Perhaps finance minister Bill Shorten and the Labor party should shout a bit louder about superannuation. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Compulsory super: it’s good, it works and we want more of it

Labor’s devastating Queensland election result has prompted much soul searching within the party and questions about its fundamental approach. Do voters even know what the Labor party stands for? Or is…
Bill Shorten has flagged that there will be significant structural reforms to the superannuation industry. AAP

Streamlining superannuation: not as simple as it seems

Financial Services Minister Bill Shorten has set up a Productivity Commission inquiry to define the criteria for selecting a default superannuation fund under “modern awards”. By October, commissioners…
Younger Australians are less likely to benefit from a rise in the compulsory super contribution. AAP

Lifting the super guarantee isn’t good for everybody

Of the many policy debates in Federal Parliament in 2011, one which gathered support from both major parties was the proposal to lift the superannuation guarantee employer contribution from 9% to 12…
Blindfolded investors: full financial disclosure is not required in superannuation. Flickr/Linzi Clark.

UniSuper benefit warning sparks demand for full disclosure

UniSuper’s admission that a superannuation scheme formerly guaranteed by employers, the universities, is underfunded has…
Changes to the MRRT will leave a gaping hole the revenue the tax originally promised. AAP

We’ve gained a mining tax, but lost a rare opportunity

Federal Labor’s mining profits tax was originally designed to be a redistributive measure from a very profitable section of capital to all of capital through company tax cuts. The mini-me Mineral Resources…
Australia’s retirees have been buffeted this week but remain unaware of how to manage the risks. AAP

Dazed, confused and uninformed: self-funded retirees bear the brunt

Two types of footage illustrated news reports of the financial market turmoil last week: the unlucky teams with frozen smiles ringing the start-of-trade bell at the New York Stock Exchange, and confused…

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