The government has introduced the objective of super bill to Parliament following a consultation process.
The Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2023 will serve as a guide and instil greater confidence in the super system by enshrining an objective of super in legislation.
The specified objective is: “to preserve savings to deliver income for a dignified retirement, alongside government support, in an equitable and sustainable way”. This is unchanged following the consultation process.
A consultation had been announced in February 2023 and submissions closed on 31 March. An exposure draft was then released on 1 September which was open for feedback until 29 September.
Any future changes to super will be judged against that benchmark in order to hold policymakers accountable when considering changes.
Minister for financial services, Stephen Jones, said: “Superannuation is a significant source of capital, contributes to the strength of our financial markets, and there are opportunities to leverage superannuation investment in areas of national economic priority where it aligns with the best financial interests of members.
“Having a clear, legislated objective of super will help ensure these broader benefits can be maximised.”
Responding to the objective, Leeanne Turner, interim chief executive of the Association of Superannuation Funds Australia (ASFA), said: "The Objective puts preservation, retirement income, equity, sustainability and a dignified retirement at the heart of superannuation policy while recognising the ongoing role of the Age Pension.
"It offers a retirement aspiration which is fit for purpose, paving the way for a future where all Australians can approach retirement with confidence.
"As drafted in this Bill, the Objective will underpin policy stability and help anchor future policy debates in ensuring our Age Pension remains affordable, that superannuation savings are preserved to retirement, and that the system delivers in an equitable manner for women and low-income earners."
Research by Industry Super Australia found Australians "overwhelmingly" believe super should be used for financial security and wellbeing in retirement with 80 per cent of the 1,100 surveyed people saying they believe in the financial safety net offered by the super system.