Budget super changes welcome but too little action on gender gap and unpaid super

Those who have retired or are on the cusp of doing so will benefit from changes to voluntary super contributions outlined in tonight’s Budget, yet there is not enough help for the millions of younger workers missing out on basic super entitlements.

The 2019/20 Budget has delivered generous changes to voluntary super contributions, that will see Australians aged 65 and 66 able to make voluntary superannuation contributions, both concessional and non-concessional, without meeting the ‘Work Test.’

The new rules could theoretically allow extra contributions of up to $500,000 for a couple.

Industry Super Australia’s Deputy Chief Executive Matthew Linden said the changes could help those who have been unable to save enough for retirement but they could also be used by those who have very healthy super balances already.

“If this measure proceeds there would be some justification to focus benefits to those with inadequate super savings,” Mr Linden said.

“Sadly, the Budget again misses an opportunity to take action on the millions of Australians missing out on super entitlements – particularly women and younger workers.

“Women on average receive 40 per cent less super than men, and a third of Australian workers are being robbed of around $2,000 a year by employers refusing to pay super.

“The Government could have made these issues a priority by paying super on parental leave, and abolishing the $450 per month super threshold.

“Although the budget includes welcome additional funding to the ATO to recover unpaid super there is no commitment to align super with wage payments which would address the source of the problem.”

In other measures Industry Super Australia also strongly supports the announcement to extend permanent tax relief to merging funds. There is likely to be significant fund mergers in the years ahead and the tax relief will ensure members realise the full benefits.

Matthew Linden is

/Public Release.