Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Amendment Bill 2011; Consideration in Detail
I present a supplementary explanatory memorandum to the bill. I move government amendment (1):
Schedule 1, item 4, page 3 (lines 17 and 18), omit the item, substitute:
4 Paragraph 27(1)(a)
Repeal the paragraph.
This amendment will abolish the maximum superannuation guarantee age limit—surprised as I was that the opposition voted against giving older people a fair go. Currently the superannuation guarantee applies only to people under the age of 70. In the legislation introduced on 2 November 2011 the superannuation guarantee age limit was lifted to 75. Today, this bill will ensure that all mature-age Australians receive the superannuation guarantee, that all mature-age Australians will receive the nine per cent to 12 per cent contained in the bill. It will allow Australians to secure higher standards of living in retirement.
This change is the result of strong representations from members of the Labor caucus, such as—but not exclusively—the members for Petrie, Blair, Greenway and Robertson, and indeed members of the cross bench, including but not limited to the member for Lyne and the member for New England. From 1 July 2013, the guarantee will be payable for eligible employees aged 75 and over for the first time. This will increase the coverage to approximately an additional 18,000 Australians aged 75 and over who are working, who will get the benefit of the superannuation guarantee as they continue working. Making superannuation contributions compulsory for these mature-age workers will improve the adequacy and the equity of the retirement incomes system and provide an incentive to older Australians to remain in the workforce for longer.
In addition, the 1 July 2013 commencement date provides time for employers and older Australians to adjust to the new superannuation arrangements. This reform has been welcomed by a range of community stakeholders, including National Seniors, who, in their 2 November press release, stated:
On the right for older Australians to have equal access to superannuation, this Government has put their money where their mouth is.
I hope that the government's amendment and the entire bill receives bipartisan support. However, I do wonder if it is time for another hastily convened teleconference of the 'noalition' leadership team.
Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.
With this, we see the conversion of the government to the opposition's position that there was a need to abolish and repeal section 27(1)(a) of the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act. Indeed, if the minister opposite had bothered to see his mother-in-law to get a section 56 statement—
Government members interjecting—
Order! The member for Mackellar will resume her seat. The question is that this amendment be agreed to.
Question agreed to.
That the bill, as amended, be agreed to.
The House divided [01:36]
The Speaker (Mr Harry Jenkins)
Question agreed to.
Bill, as amended, agreed to.
Before calling the Assistant Treasurer, whilst the hour is late, I want to make sure that, with an incident of the order that occurred earlier, people are clear on what action the chair took. I refer all members to standing order 88, and I refer all members to the ability of the chair to withdraw the call as an action in response to disorder. I want that clearly understood.