Actuaries join chorus backing super reform

By Leith van Onselen The conga-line of commentators urging the Coalition to pass its superannuation reforms in full has just got longer, with the Actuaries Institute backing the $500,000 cap on post-tax contributions. From The AFR: Mercer partner Guy Thornburn and Rice Warner consultant Nathan Bonarius told The Australian Financial Review they hoped discussions about


Hanson joins Budget war on youth

By Leith van Onselen Pauline Hanson has today vowed to oppose the Turnbull Government’s superannuation reforms, claiming that the Government should cut spending rather than unwinding superannuation concessions. From The Australian: “Superannuation, I don’t believe in the government’s policy. Leave the superannuation alone,” the incoming Queensland senator told Sydney’s 2GB radio. “You should be encouraging


Even the oldies’ lobby demands super reform

By Leith van Onselen Following hot on the heels of the Australian Council of Social Service’s president, Cassandra Goldie’s, demand today that the Turnbull Government implement its superannuation package in full: “That lifetime and annual cap are very modest measures to make superannuation fairer, to ensure that people who have high net worth are not


Turnbull to cave on super reform?

By Leith van Onselen The incessant white anting of the Coalition’s superannuation package from the “ginger group” of conservatives within the Coalition’s own ranks seems to be paying dividends, with reports emerging over the weekend that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison are considering watering down their super package. From The Australian: Mr


If super reforms fail, Turnbull does not deserve job

By Leith van Onselen The AFR’s Laura Tingle has published a ripper post assessing the so-called “ginger group’s” attack on the Turnbull Government’s superannuation reforms – i.e. the incessant white anting from loon pond conservatives within the Coalition – and arguing that if Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison cannot get these reforms over the line,


Loon pond continues hijack of election failure

By Leith van Onselen The Coalition white-anting against the party’s announced superannuation reforms rolls-on today, with former minister Eric Abetz continuing to lead a backbench assault against the changes, blaming the policy for the Coalition’s poor electoral showing. From The ABC: “When you have had such a big kick up the pants, as we have


Turnbull hangs tough on super reforms

By Leith van Onselen Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull continues to hold the line against ongoing party white-anting against the Coalition’s announced changes to superannuation. As reported by David Crowe today, the backbench revolt over the so-called “retrospective” caps on lifetime superannuation contributions from post-tax earnings has hit fever pitch: Angry MPs are determined to press


Labor to support Coaltion super changes

By Leith van Onselen Labor has today signaled that it might support the Coalition’s superannuation package, but only after an expert panel determines the package is not “retrospective” in its impact. From The Australian: Bill Shorten has opened the door to supporting the Coalition’s most controversial changes to superannuation, urging an independent expert inquiry to


Coalition in-fighting continues over super reforms

By Leith van Onselen The in-fighting within the Turnbull Government over planned superannuation reforms continued over the weekend, with senior Liberal MP, Peter Dutton, calling for a rethink over the party’s so-called “retrospective caps” on nest eggs. From The Daily Telegraph: Mr Dutton has hinted that the Turnbull government may need to amend planned budget


All systems go for superannuation reform

By Leith van Onselen The best outcome from this election campaign is that we will very likely achieve important reforms to Australia’s superannuation system, with the Coalition, Labor and the Greens all in virtual agreement about the need for change and likely to pass reform regardless of the final make-up of the parliament. From The


Coalition MPs may yet stifle super reform

By Leith van Onselen The Australian’s David Crowe has reported that Coalition MPs are pressing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to backflip on announced reforms to superannuation after a claimed backlash by traditional Liberal voters at the weekend’s election: Coalition MPs are preparing to force Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison to sacrifice some of the $2.9


Mercer slaps down rich super whinge

By Leith van Onselen Mercer have put some much needed perspective on the huge scare campaign being run against the Turnbull Government’s announced caps to superannuation. From The AFR: [Mercer’s] research shows that the top 1 per cent of income earners will be hit hardest. Despite the heavy backlash over the plan to limit after-tax


After reforms, the super system will remain far too generous

Cross-posted from The Conversation: In 1988, Henry Fairlie famously wrote an article in The New Republic accompanied by a cover entitled “Greedy Geezers”. The article suggested that the elderly were living too well at the expense of the young. More recently, some commentators have taken issue with this characterisation, arguing that the elderly and young


Tax-free super is inter-generational theft

Cross-posted from The Conversation: A number of politicians have struggled this week to explain the Turnbull Government’s proposed changes to superannuation. Given the complexity of the area, that’s not surprising. And this complexity explains why intergenerational “theft” through superannuation has continued for so long. Transition to retirement (TTR) provisions, introduced by the Howard Government in


Tony Abbott flip-flops on super reform

By Leith van Onselen A year’s a long time in federal politics. Just over a year ago, Tony Abbott was Prime Minister and steadfastly refused to wind-back Australia’s superannuation rorts, claiming that “we [the Coalition] respect people’s savings. We don’t think that superannuation is government money. It’s your money”. He also argued that “there is a


Labor’s disgusting superannuation hypocrisy

By Leith van Onselen Yesterday, Prime Minister Turnbull hit back at wealthy rent-seekers opposing the Coalition’s superannuation caps, telling them to “get real” because they would still be paying a lower rate of tax than a 15-year-old kid stacking shelves at Woolies: “It is true that some people, around 4 per cent, on high incomes


Coalition buckles to rentiers on super reform

By Leith van Onselen The incessant lobby from the industry and the alleged backbench revolt within the Coalition’s ranks against the Government’s announced caps to superannuation balances appears to be wearing the leadership down, with Cabinet Secretary, Arthur Sinodinos, committing to taking the policy back to the party room in the event that the Turnbull


Super rent-seekers defend another Costello rort

By Leith van Onselen In 2005, former Treasurer Peter Costello implemented the mother of baby boomer bribes in the form of the “transition-to-retirement” (TTR) rules, which allowed those aged over 55 to legally minimise their tax by salary sacrificing up to $35,000 into a superannuation account and then simultaneously withdrawing the funds as income. In


Gotti rallies the super rent-seekers

By Leith van Onselen Robert Gottliebsen (“Gotti”) has taken a day off from doing Highrise Harry’s bidding and has instead launched an attack on the Turnbull Government’s so-called “retrospective” caps on superannuation, which he claims could cost the Coalition the election. From The Australian: Financial planners around the country are now discovering that large portions


ABC Fact Check: super changes not retrospective

From the ABC’s soon to be defunct Fact Check Unit comes a slap in the face to lobbyists’ and Labor’s claim that the Turnbull Government’s announced superannuation caps are “retrospective” [my emphasis]: The claim As part of the 2016 budget, the Government announced some changes to the tax treatment of superannuation for those who have


Labor winds back super hypocrisy

By Leith van Onselen Labor has today signaled that it might support the Coalition’s $1.6 million “restrospective” cap on tax-free superannuation contributions after all. From The AFR: Federal Labor will today leave open the prospect of supporting – and possibility even adopting – the government’s plan to cap superannuation retirement funds at $1.6 million. …the


Gotti summons the FHB patsies

By Leith van Onselen It’s Groundhog Day, with Robert Gottliebsen (“Gotti”) once again proposing to allow young home buyers to raid their superannuation accounts to purchase their first home: It seems that if we are going to change the current falling home ownership rate we will have to do one of two things. First, allow


Radio shock jocks rally against super changes

By Leith van Onselen Talkback radio shock jocks, and one-eyed Coalition supporters, Ray Hadley and Alan Jones, have lobbied the Turnbull Government to back-track on its so-called “retrospective” changes to superannuation, which would see a $1.6 million cap placed on the amount that a retiree can transfer into a tax-free pension, along with the $500,000


Labor continues super hypocrisy

By Leith van Onselen One of the few pleasing aspects of this term of government is how the issue of superannuation reform has gone from a policy no-go zone to virtual bipartisan agreement that the system implemented by Peter Costello is overly generous, unsustainable, and must be wound back. That said, it remains highly disconcerting


Accountant: Most wealthy super to remain tax free

By Leith van Onselen As the army of super rent-seekers continue to moan about having to pay a token amount of tax under the Coalition’s announced super reforms, an accountant has advised that the lion’s share of retirement accounts would still remain tax free. From ABC News: The Federal Government’s budget changes to superannuation have


Finally a Howard MP admits super mistake

By Leith van Onselen Last week, former Howard Government deputy Prime Minister, Mark Vaile, went on a senseless rant against the Turnbull Government’s superannuation reforms, decrying their so-called “retrospectivity” and claiming that such “retrospectivity” would never have been contemplated during his time in the Howard government. Today, it’s the creator of the Howard Government’s superannuation


SMSFs cry like babies over super reforms

By Leith van Onselen Never get between a rich person and a tax rort. Today, the self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) industry – which typically represents Australia’s wealthiest retirees – are the latest pack of super rent-seekers to decry the Coalition’s and Labor’s proposed “retrospective” reforms to superannuation. From The Australian: Morningstar’s head of equities, Peter


Super rent-seekers threaten Coalition MPs

By Leith van Onselen Coalition supporters have ramped-up their campaign against the Turnbull Government’s so-called “retrospective” changes to superannuation. From The AFR: Before this year’s budget there seemed to be widespread acceptance that Australia’s superannuation system was generously disposed towards the nation’s wealthiest savers… All of a sudden Coalition MPs are apparently threatening to withhold


Turnbull stares down own party’s super rent-seekers

By Leith van Onselen Finally Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has shown a backbone, staring down angry Coalition supporters over so-called “retrospective” changes to superannuation. From The AFR: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has pushed back at an agitated Coalition support base by declaring that proposed restrictions on superannuation that hit the rich are not retrospective and


Labor continues super hypocrisy

By Leith van Onselen The Labor Party has continued its hypocritical attack against the Government’s super policy today, maintaining the false argument that it comprises a “retrospective” change. Here’s Bill Shorten as reported in The AFR: “Morrison and Turnbull recklessly not only adopted our principled approach for the future but appeared to be manoeuvring it