Super on the fly
There are a few points I could make, but it seems clear to me that many people in my position, or people invested in superannuation as their predominant form of retirement funding, felt strongly enough about the superannuation debacle to take their views to the ballot box. And that is probably the main point worth making.
Regardless of the intent of the Budget night announcements, this was NOT good government. I am not opposed to paying more tax, if it is in the best interest of the nation but where were the policy proposals, the seeking of input from the industry and other stakeholders, including superannuants, understanding the detailed impacts and preparation of a detailed plan that could be understood?
I wrote to both Treasury (seeking answers on the announcements) and to the ATO (seeking a private ruling that I would not be penalised if I acted in compliance with the current law). This was futile as both responded by simply providing a copy of the Budget night fact sheet. Clearly these two administrative arms of government had no idea what was happening; and this was proof of just how poorly developed was the Government’s approach to the superannuation changes.
Anyway it would seem that the Government must now undertake a process (retrospectively) to justify the proposed changes to superannuation. It would seem that any changes would not be legislated for many months. Further months of uncertainty, to me, would create further scepticism about the ability of the Government to govern and provide leadership. In theses circumstances I would suggest and recommend to you that the Government should act promptly to state that the current laws on superannuation still apply and that any action taken in compliance with these laws will not be penalised.
Finally I have stated above that I am not opposed to paying more tax if this is in the best interest of the nation, but let there be a coordinated fiscal policy (that covers both spending and revenue) not just one-off policy announcements targeting superannuation, or any other so-called “1 per centers”!