Australia’s superannuation system is not delivering and requires radical surgery, according to Liberal Senator for New South Wales, Andrew Bragg.
At the launch of his new book, Bad Egg: How to Fix Super, Senator Bragg questioned the purpose of super and called it a huge experiment without an objective.
“As Australia faces COVID-19, Bad Egg is an assessment of the system’s capacity to deliver for Australia and it’s not a pretty picture,” he said.
After 29 years of growth, it is clear that Australia cannot afford indulgences that do not work.
“At the very least, we should put the interests of working Australians first,” Senator Bragg said.
He noted that allowing an industry to manage a compulsory government scheme has performed predictably. He accused the industry of navel gazing rather than focusing on the savers and taxpayers.
“This is evident from the industry’s performance during the Hayne Royal Commission and the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“The industry’s response to questioning is to accuse critics of being ‘anti-vaxxers’ – this only highlights the immaturity of an industry established by a government mandate,” he said.
Senator Bragg said the challenge for the industry is to show how super will reduce the cost of an aging population over the long term.
To ensure the system works, an objective should be set, a target for self-funded retirees should be adopted and a new market structure is required.
Senator Bragg’s book accuses vested interests of having benefited from super far more than average workers - just as Hawke/Keating era Finance Minister Peter Walsh predicted.
“The system costs more than it saves. There should be more flexibility. Australians should be allowed to access super for a first home, a home is more important than super,” he said.
Research commissioned for the book shows most Australians know super isn’t working and few understand it. Super is terribly opaque - it should be much more transparent. Related party transactions and political payments should be known to Australians.
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