Senate debates

Thursday, 25 February 2021


Treasury Laws Amendment (Reuniting More Superannuation) Bill 2020; Second Reading

10:20 am

Photo of Tony SheldonTony Sheldon (NSW, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Like my colleagues, I note our support for the Treasury Laws Amendment (Reuniting More Superannuation) Bill 2020, which seeks to make it easier for the ATO to reunite superannuation rollover funds with members' active accounts. This bill addresses a recommendation of the 2019 Productivity Commission inquiry into superannuation. I note also that the ATO has successfully reunited more than 2.1 million lost or forgotten superannuation accounts, assisting Australians to afford dignity in retirement, which was the objective of the policy of compulsory superannuation.

What we must not overlook, however, is the fact that this bill sits within the broader Liberal Party agenda that they are peddling when it comes to superannuation. They are doing practically everything they can to rip the guts out of Australians' retirement savings. This is the party that brought the misleading 'your super, your choice' legislation, which took aim at mandated super in lawfully negotiated enterprise bargaining agreements, a bill that was about giving employers more choice, more freedom to undermine the choices of their workforce, leading to poorer returns and outcomes for workers. As the McKell Institute found in their submission—if the government cared to read it; but it didn't fit their ideology—in review of the bill, 'Employers and employee unions who collectively bargain for a fund are most likely to select a high-performing fund.' By reducing the scope for employers and employees to negotiate around superannuation in their agreements, the government has restricted freedom of choice for these workers and left them at the mercy of predatory retail funds and aggressive employer actions. It was clear that this bill was just a thinly veiled assault on industry super funds, all part of the Liberal agenda to move billions of assets and funds under the management of industry funds, looked over by employers and worker representatives, over to the poorly-performing for-profit retail funds and their mates.

Senator Hume interjecting—


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