Both major parties hit pause on further super changes
A superannuation industry battling fatigue will be relieved by the Rudd government's commitment, following the Coalition's earlier commitment, to hit the pause button on further changes to super.
Policy settings are now in place that will likely see most people aged under about 40 with adequate retirement savings. That's because both sides of politics say they will increase the superannuation guarantee to 12 per cent from 9.25 per cent now. Under the government's plan, the 12 per cent is reached by July 1, 2019. That's why it is those under about 40 now who will benefit - they will have at least 15 years of 12 per cent superannuation guarantee.
Under a Coalition government, the super guarantee rises more slowly and does not hit 12 per cent until 2021. That's more than two parliamentary terms away and gives plenty of time for business lobby groups to persuade a Coalition government not to implement the full increase.
The government's plans for slowing the growth of the superannuation tax concessions are good, even if they do not go far enough. They include those on more than $300,000 a year paying a contributions tax of 30 per cent instead of 15 per cent.
From July 1, 2014, under the government plan, retirees will be taxed 15 per cent on annual earnings in their super above $100,000 where there is no tax on earnings now.
According to the government, that should only affect those with retirement savings of $2 million or more.
To help low-paid workers save for their retirement, the government provides a tax cut of up to $500 a year to those earning up to $37,000.
The tax cut in effect removes the 15 per cent contributions tax for low earners. The Coalition has said it will, if elected, remove this tax cut for low earners.
To help those with not all that long to go before they retire, the limit that can be salary sacrificed into superannuation has been increased. It's $35,000 this financial year for those aged 60 and over on July 1, 2013.
The cap is $25,000 for everyone else. From July 1 next year, the $35,000 limit will apply to those aged 50 and over.
The Coalition supports the higher caps.