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‘Fantasy world’: Superannuation increase debate heats up

The federal government remains committed to raising the superannuation guarantee to 12 per cent by 2025, despite an Australian National University study asserting a raise was unnecessary.

Business Cameron Micallef 21 January 2020
— 1 minute read

Research released by the Australian National University (ANU) found that the current guarantee of 9.5 per cent was “more than sufficient” for most people to achieve a comfortable income in retirement.

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The study also found that many income groups need considerably less than the 9.5 per cent superannuation guarantee.

This comes off the back of research released by the Grattan Institute, which noted that changing superannuation to 12 per cent of wages would make the middle-class workers $30,000 a year worse off. 

The superannuation industry refuted the study, claiming it creates dangerous conclusions based on flawed assumptions that bear no resemblance to working life in Australia. 

According to Industry Super Australia chief executive Bernie Dean, “researchers have created a fantasy world where every Australian is a single man who is in the workforce for more than 40 straight years”.

Australia’s 3.9 million casual or part-time workers were not included as part of ANU’s modelling, Industry Super continued. 

“There is no savings other than super — no family homes, investment properties, shares or bonds. This fantasy ANU model has also done away with unpaid super,” Industry Super further explained.

The one in three Australians currently underpaid super totalling close to $6 billion a year — as shown in Industry Super Australia’s analysis — was also not considered in ANU’s modelling.

As the researchers admit, the “scope of its analysis is limited”; Industry Super Australia said that it is so limited that no meaningful conclusions could be drawn from it.

“It draws dangerous conclusions,” Mr Dean said. “If implemented, millions of Australians would be left struggling to make ends meet on the pension, or forced to work until they drop.”

According to Industry Super, the only way to have Australians retire with “dignity, choice and control” is for the government to deliver on its promise to increase the super guarantee to 12 per cent.

‘Fantasy world’: Superannuation increase debate heats up
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