Superannuation system ‘not fair’, former public servant says

Former Commonwealth public servant Libby Amiel has been comfortably retired for a decade.


She’s disappointed with how the super system benefits the wealthy such as herself and wants it changed.

“Other people paying more and earning less are subsidising me, not fair,” she said. “That should be the end of the public-policy argument.”

“We should now be going about fixing it.”

She said the government wouldn’t do the right thing for fear of voter backlash.

“If we’re totally honest, anyone backlashing on that argument is basically saying, ‘I’m entitled to a free ride’. No, it’s got to be done. It’s got to be fixed.”

“Other people paying more and earning less are subsidising me, not fair.”

The Financial Services Council has suggested a way to even up the system.

The modelling recommends the 9.5 per cent employer contribution be immediately raised to 12 per cent.

The current 15 per cent tax rate on contributions would change to a level that was 20 points below the individual’s marginal tax rate.

So the retirement income for more than 80 per cent of Australians, mostly in middle and lower-income groups, would go up. But for the wealthy, it would go down. 

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The head of the Financial Services Council, Sally Loane, said some models currently being considered by the government could hurt people in low to middle-income brackets.

“That model actually does the best across every income sector,” she said.

Robert Carling from the Centre for Independent Studies said it would all form part of the broader discussion on tax reform.

“This all goes into the government’s review process and it’s too early to say which way the government is going to go,” he said.

The government’s tax white paper was supposed to be released before the end of last year but the change of Prime Minister, and economic direction, has delayed the release of the report.

There’s no indication yet when it will be released but it will more than likely be before the budget in May. 

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