Experts slam Coalition’s super-housing fix

By Leith van Onselen Various experts have emerged to slam the Coalition’s proposal to allow first home buyers (FHBs) to access their superannuation to purchase a home. From The Canberra Times: Paul Keating has dramatically added his voice to those of industry and finance experts warning the Turnbull government against allowing superannuation savings to be used for house purchases, branding the


SMSFs continue to grow in popularity

By Martin North, cross-posted from the Digital Finance Analytics Blog: APRA has released the latest superannuation statistics to September 2016. Total superannuation assets are worth $2,145.6 billion up +7.4% in the past year. Of this, $1,330.5 billion are in entities regulated by APRA, up 8.7% in the past year. Self managed superannuation balances reached $635.9


Labor want tougher superannuation reforms

By Leith van Onselen The Labor opposition has called on the Coalition to implement implement three additional reforms to superannuation concessions that would make the system more equitable and raise significant additional Budget revenue. From The AFR’s Philip Coorey: If the government refuses Labor will most likely pass the government’s package but take its own


Hypocrite Peter Costello whinges about super complexity

By Leith van Onselen Former Treasurer Peter Costello continues to whinge about recent reforms to superannuation, complaining that they have increased complexity which he argues is eroding the public’s confidence in the system. From The Australian: “With growing complexity, extreme complexity, people will shy away from (the super system). And I think they are right


Aussies raid super to pay their mortgages

By Leith van Onselen An interesting series of comments appeared on a recent story on mortgage delinquencies published at Who Crashed The Economy. A person named Sarah, who collects debts for a smaller bank, claimed that the number of people struggling with their mortgage payments, and attempting to access their superannuation early, has surged outside


Mirabile dictu: ATO rules out super-housing fix

By Leith van Onselen Over the past few years, we have witnessed several parties call on the federal government to allow Australians to use their superannuation to purchase their home, including former Treasurer Joe Hockey, Senator Nick Xenophon, “high-rise” Harry Triguboff, and even the Committee for Economic Development Australia (CEDA). In late September, published


SMSF property leverage a ticking time bomb

By Leith van Onselen It has long been my view that the Howard Government’s decision to allow self-managed super funds (SMSFs) to leverage into property and other investments was a mistake. Specifically, it allowed SMSFs to be turned into speculative vehicles rather than savings vehicles, in turn dramatically increasing the riskiness of Australia’s retirement savings


The importance of super to retirement is way overblown

By Leith van Onselen The Grattan Institute has released an interesting background paper showing that the importance attached to superannuation as a way of funding retirement is way overblown, with super likely to remain the smallest pillar of retirement income for the foreseeable future: The reality is that superannuation savings account for only a small


The Gotti super rent-seeker spins out of control

By Leith van Onselen Robert Gottliebsen (“Gotti”) has added a new string to his superannuation rent-seeking bow, this time bemoaning that older Australians are being required to actually run-down their tax-free superannuation savings rather than passing them on to their heirs. From The Australian: Younger readers may not realise that once a superannuation fund goes


Super reform is not over

By Leith van Onselen After the Coalition’s ‘triumphant’ backdown on superannuation last week, which has paved the way for reform through the Senate, talk has already turned to the next stage of potential reforms to superannuation. From The AFR: A new law to define the purpose of superannuation could foreshadow the end of tax perks


Pathetic Coalition dumps $500k super cap

By Leith van Onselen The Turnbull Government has caved to pressure from the Coalition right and the Labor Party and dumped the $500,000 cap on non-concessional contributions. From The AFR: In a compromise to be put to the party room for approval on Thursday, sources said the $500,000 cap backdated to 2007 had been removed


Labor continues to white ant super reforms

By Leith van Onselen Ever since the Turnbull Government first announced its superannuation reform package in the May Budget, the Labor Party has run a phony campaign claiming that the proposed $500,000 cap on post-tax contributions was “retrospective” because the start date would be 2007, and demanded that it be brought forward to Budget night


Abbott continues super reform white anting

By Leith van Onselen The previous week, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott stormed the Coalition party room demanding that superannuation reform lay-off the wealthy, whilst demanding that the low-income superannuation offset be abandoned. And on Friday, Abbott continued the superannuation reform white anting, speaking on 2GB’s Alan Jones to lobby against placing caps on contributions.


Labor continues superannuation lies

By Leith van Onselen It is becoming increasingly evident that achieving meaningful reform to superannuation (let alone anything else) is going to be a difficult task. On the one hand, you have the Turnbull Government locked in civil war over the superannuation changes, with a break away group of conservative Coalition members – led by


Gotti’s super rent-seeking turns nauseating

By Leith van Onselen Robert Gottliebsen (“Gotti”) has launched another non-nonsensical attack on the Coalition’s proposed superannuation reforms. From The Australian: The superannuation debate should not just be about a grab bag of measures to cut current costs but a debate about how we fund the retirement of our ageing population and how we can


Amid civil war, super reform to come in stages

By Leith van Onselen With the Coalition locked in civil war over its superannuation reforms, Treasurer Scott Morrison has announced that super law changes will be implemented in stages, with draft legislation of the non-controversial elements to be released today. From The Australian: Mr Morrison said talks were continuing with backbenchers about contentious issues such


Morrison launches new salvo in super civil war

By Leith van Onselen Superannuation reform continues to divide the Coalition. Over the weekend, it was revealed that former Prime Minister Tony Abbott stormed the party room on Thursday demanding that superannuation reform lay-off the wealthy, whilst demanding that the low-income superannuation offset be abandoned, thus adversely impacting the poor. These demands reportedly caused heated


Grattan: Why super reform must succeed

By Leith van Onselen The Grattan Institute has released a working paper, entitled A better super system: assessing the 2016 tax reforms, which argues that winding-back superannuation concessions is the “acid test” of Australia’s political system and should be “one of the first items of business in the current Parliament”. Implementing the Coalition’s reforms announced


Tony Abbott does wealthy’s bidding on super

By Leith van Onselen The Abbotalypse came back with a bang late last week, with The Australian revealing that former Prime Minister Tony Abbott stormed the party room on Thursday demanding that superannuation reform lay-off the wealthy, whilst demanding that the low-income superannuation offset be abandoned: In a “tetchy” private meeting with a group of


Morrison offers backbench super ultimatum

By Leith van Onselen The sorry saga of the Turnbull Government’s superannuation reform package is now likely to drag into October, with Treasurer Scott Morrison insisting that backbench MPs resisting the $500,000 planned cap on post-tax contributions come up with alternative savings. From The AFR: Treasurer Scott Morrison, who has been negotiating changes behind closed


Gotti uses house prices to derail super reforms

By Leith van Onselen Robert Gottlebsen (“Gotti”) has truly drunk the Kool Aid today, blaming the upcoming superannuation reforms on further inflating housing values (which are just assumed). From The Australian: …a set of top public servant advisers, who having watched on as their own superannuation nests were feathered, are advising on the destruction of


D-Day arrives for Turnbull’s super reforms

By Leith van Onselen After months of white-anting by a handful of conservative backbenchers within the Coalition, Malcolm Turnbull has called Coalition MPs to Canberra for a party room meeting to thrash-out, for once and for all, the Coalition’s policy. From The AFR: The MPs were notified on Friday of the meeting where it is


A super test for Australia’s political system

Cross-posted from The Conversation: In the past week, both major parties have made welcome, albeit tentative, commitments to tackle much-needed budget repair. The Turnbull government has moved quickly to lock in budget savings that Labor supported in the federal election campaign. Now Labor has signalled its support for the bulk of the government’s proposed changes


Shorten throws down gauntlet on super reforms, Budget

By Leith van Onselen In yesterday’s National Press Club Address, Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, stated that Labor would only support superannuation reform if the proposed caps on post-tax contributions are implemented from Budget night rather than “retrospectively” from 2007. From The AFR: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has announced to the National Press Club that Labor