Government’s superannuation legislation introduced

The Government’s introduction of its superannuation legislation to Parliament has been welcomed as a step towards greater certainty

After much debate and many submissions, the government has finally introduced legislation to parliament to formalise, legally the objective of superannuation. As follows…

The objective of the superannuation system is to provide income in retirement to substitute or supplement the Age Pension.

“The Financial System lnquiry, led by David Murray, recommended that objective,” said Treasurer, Scott Morrison, when introducing the legislation.

“And, after consulting widely, the Government has agreed to the objective. The objective for superannuation will enhance stability in the superannuation system by creating a clear framework for assessing superannuation policy.”

The Treasurer went on to say that more than 80% of working-age Australians have superannuation savings, and superannuation makes up around 22% of all assets held by Australian households.

“Since the introduction of compulsory superannuation in 1992, the superannuation system has grown, both in size and importance. Assets in superannuation are now over $2 trillion,” he said.

“Over time there have been various statements about the role of superannuation. But given its solid history and remarkable growth, it’s really quite extraordinary to think that, until now, no legislation existed to clearly define the objective for superannuation.”

Canstar star rating and award - income iconThe objective of the superannuation system is to provide income in retirement to substitute or supplement the Age Pension.


The government acknowledged that a single primary objective cannot possibly encompass all aspects of the purpose and attributes of the superannuation system, and hence is prescribing in regulation five subsidiary objectives:

  • facilitate consumption smoothing over the course of an individual’s life;
  • manage risks in retirement;
  • be invested in the interests of superannuation fund members;
  • alleviate fiscal pressures on Government from the retirement income system; and
  • be simple, efficient and provide safeguards.

The subsidiary objectives, with the primary objective, provide a comprehensive framework for assessing changes to superannuation policy.

The SMSF Association has welcomed the Government’s introduction of its superannuation legislation to Parliament as a step towards greater certainty for SMSF trustees and their advisers.

The Superannuation (objective) Bill was one of three new bills introduced to parliament, with the other two being the Fair and Sustainable Superannuation Bill and the Excess Transfer Balance Tax Bill relating to superannuation.

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