The average 25-year-old worker could lose $143,000 from their planned retirement savings if Parliament does not support the Labor Government’s plan to increase their Superannuation Guarantee to 12%.
Unions will today launch a new campaign to increase the Superannuation Guarantee to 12% amid uncertainty about whether Parliament will support the Labor Government’s plan to improve security in retirement for all Australian workers.
ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence said the new campaign, Stand Up for Super, would be led by a petition of Australian workers addressed to Members of Parliament.
The campaign is being launched online today at www.standupforsuper.com.au It includes an online calculator so workers can see how much more in retirement income they would have with a 12% Superannuation Guarantee.
“Workers deserve a comfortable retirement but the current 9% contribution rate simply means that will not be an option for many Australians,” Mr Lawrence said.
He said 8.4 million Australians would receive an increase in their retirement incomes as a result of the Government’s proposed reforms, which would come into effect in July next year.
The reforms mean a worker aged 30 today on average weekly earnings would retire with an additional $108,000 in superannuation. And even someone the same age who can expect interrupted working patterns due to parenting responsibilities would have an extra $78,000 in retirement savings,
“The Government has shown leadership in this important area, but to date Tony Abbott has refused to commit to improving superannuation outcomes, which would be funded by the passage of the Minerals Rent Resource Tax,” Mr Lawrence said. “Given the Liberal Party’s history of opposing improvements to the superannuation system since compulsory super began in the 1990s, we can have no confidence they will support this change either.
“Unions fought long and hard for superannuation to be introduced at all in the 1990s, despite opposition from business and the conservative side of politics, who argued the sky would fall in at the time.
“In contrast to the claims of business, Australia’s economic prosperity has thrived and we remain one of the wealthiest nations in the world. However, this is not reflected in the retirement incomes of many Australians who will not have enough money to retire on if employer contributions are stuck at 9%.
“The proposed reforms will also help address the challenges of an ageing population.
“Over the next 10 years, $85 billion will be added to Australia’s pool of superannuation savings. A proportion of these savings will be channelled back into the Australian economy to fund jobs and nation-building infrastructure.”
Mr Lawrence said unions had already secured super contributions of more than 9% for about 2 million workers through collective bargaining and aimed to extend that through the workforce.