“Trust” and “Certainty” are Save Our Super’s “Pillars of Principle”. They are fundamental. Only with those two pillars of principle in place can a fair and sustainable Australian superannuation system survive and flourish.
First, a government should not undermine people’s trust in the superannuation system.
Trust is shattered when, for example, a Minister like Treasurer Morrison makes, and then shamelessly breaks, his promises regarding the government’s future tax treatment of superannuation.
Secondly, a government should not undermine certainty in the superannuation system.
Certainty is lost when, for example, government changes long-standing superannuation rules and policies without notice nor consultation and without the use of appropriate grandfathering provisions.
For example, for over 100 years, since at least 1915, the pension account of superannuation fund earnings has been exempt from taxation. There are sound policy reasons for not taxing people in their pension phase. They are at their most financially vulnerable time, with none, or limited opportunity to increase lost capital or increase their paid worktime. Yet, as a matter of principle, both the Coalition and Labor will tax peoples’ pension phase account earnings.
Moreover, even where people have relied upon existing rules and policies, and those people will be significantly affected by proposed changes, neither the Coalition nor Labor will protect their superannuation savings by the use of appropriate grandfathering provisions.
Only after government has considered and applied those two pillars of principle, should government turn to see which, if any, changes should be made to the superannuation system, and then calculate their taxation effect.
Government should not start with the amount of tax they want to raise or save from superannuants, and then formulate their superannuation policies.
Save Our Super will vigorously advocate that the L/NP Coalition, Labor and other parliamentarians adopt those two pillars of principle in the application of their superannuation policies and legislation.
Save Our Super will not negotiate, horse-trade or bargain away the two fundamental pillars of principle, namely, “Trust” and “Certainty”. Their application is essential for good public policy and precedent.