Wednesday, 26 August 2020
That the Senate notes that—
(a) COVID-19 and the associated recession should not be used to justify changes to the scheduled superannuation payment increase from 9.5% to 12% by July 2025 – too many people retire with insufficient retirement savings, and data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics does not show that an increase in superannuation leads to a decrease in wages;
(b) with superannuation withdrawals at $32 billion, and predictions that this will reach $42 billion by the end of the year, Australians will regard this temporary measure that is allowing early access to super as careless policy management and a complete lack of foresight;
(c) there have already been 560,000 Australians who have completely cleared out their retirement savings, with 82% of these people under the age of 35 – young people will already fare worse following this pandemic and this has aggravated the problem;
(d) females are already worse off, with women retiring with approximately 47% less super than men – this is due to higher levels of part-time and casual work and repeated career breaks; and
(e) there also needs to be a more targeted approach to reducing inequalities females face, and prevent them from retiring in poverty.
Early access to super, in addition to the government's $314 billion economic response to the coronavirus, has been a lifeline for millions of Australians. Data from the ABS and from banks has shown that, overwhelmingly, those who have accessed their super have used it to pay down bills, personal loans, car loans and mortgages and to put food on the table. It's enabled families to build financial resilience during a once-in-100-years global pandemic.