CSRI Welcomes PM Summit Agreement Super Tax Reform


Oct 1, 2015

The national reform summit’s backing of reform of superannuation tax concessions is a welcome and overdue development, an independent body of policy experts said today.

The Committee for Sustainable Retirement Incomes, formed earlier this year to push for holistic reform of Australia’s retirement system, said the unsustainable nature of the superannuation tax concessions was due to the long-standing lack of a clear goal for the system.

“The concessions are supposedly aimed at lessening the reliance on the age pension, but 40 per cent accrue to the top 10 per cent of income earners,” CSRI executive director Patricia Pascuzzo said in a statement. “These are people who would never be expected “to darken the door” of the local Centrelink office and who accumulate amounts that go beyond what they need for a comfortable retirement.”

Ms Pascuzzo said that while there was a legitimate debate about the cost of the tax incentives to the budget, this doesn’t change the fact that the concessions are heavily skewed towards the rich and don’t serve the system’s objectives of providing adequate retirement incomes for all Australians.

“ While cutting back the concessions would not be a silver bullet, it would help fiscal sustainability and would be a necessary pre-condition for maintaining community support for the system,” Ms Pascuzzo said.

The CSRI – whose members include former senior policymakers and economists such as Dr Michael Keating, Professor Andrew Podger and Dr Vince Fitzgerald – offered its support to the Turnbull government in maintaining the reform momentum.

“This is not a time for partisanship or short-termism,” Ms Pascuzzo said. “We don’t need further piecemeal reform. We want a system that is equitable, sustainable and that leads to good outcomes for the Australian people. So this is a great start.”