Australians’ retirement savings will face a sweeping review, with superannuation, the age pension and asset ownership to come under the microscope.
The review has been expected since the Productivity Commission recommended it in a report released earlier this year.
Under the terms of reference, the review will look at the interaction between the age pension, compulsory superannuation and voluntary savings, including home ownership.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and assistant superannuation minister Jane Hume said the panel would examine the retirement income system’s future performance as Australians live and work longer.
“The review will establish a fact base of the current retirement income system that will improve understanding of its operation and the outcomes it is delivering for Australians,” they said in a joint statement on Friday.
It will also look at the impact of current policy settings on public finances.
The independent panel includes former Treasury official Michael Callaghan, Self-Managed Super Fund Association chair Deborah Ralston and Future Fund board member Carolyn Kay.
Frydenberg has ruled out including the family home in the pension asset test despite calls from some industry experts and Liberal MP Craig Kelly.
There is also pressure from a rump of Liberal backbench MPs to scrap the legislated increase in the compulsory superannuation guarantee from 9.5 to 12 per cent.
But the government says it has no plans to abandon the rise, which is due by 2025.
Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers called on the government to rule out the possibility the review could be a stalking horse for those issues and cutting the pension.
“This Liberal government has a dismal record on pensions and superannuation,” he said.
“Attacks on the pension and superannuation are in their DNA.”
A final report to the government will be due by June 2020, with a consultation paper to be released in November this year.
The commission’s super report in January recommended the review of Australia’s retirement savings system.
It also recommended the number of funds currently available be whittled down, with underperformers booted out.
People starting a new job should be given a list of 10 super funds to choose from rather than being defaulted into one, the report said.Do you have an idea for a story?
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