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Super Changes Equals Super Suspicion

8 Apr 2013 9:19 AM -
Financial planners are generally at the coalface for hearing opinions about superannuation.
And I can tell you, I’ve heard them all.
They’ve ranged from conspiracy theories to legitimate concerns to complete indifference.
At the heart of most of the opinions is the perception the government eventually won’t be able to resist taking a bigger piece of the superannuation pie.   
And as that pie has grown to more than $1.5 trillion dollars, the temptation for government to switch from the desert spoon to a garden shovel is seemingly becoming greater.
Something evidenced by the now ever-present talk (and action) of superannuation changes and taxes.
Over the last year we’ve seen reductions to concessional contributions caps, while the government also decided to claim ‘lost’ accounts and hold them until they’re found again.
We’ve just had more changes from the government that generated further suspicion, while the opposition, if elected, intend to scrap a low-income tax offset and won’t commit to repeal anything the government implements.
Superannuation holders understand the appeal of that huge pot of captive money, which is why they’re either resigned not to care or develop suspicions and conspiracy theories on what those in power will do.
If superannuation is put on the table every time a government needs money, it does nothing for already eroded confidence in the system.
There has been one welcome superannuation development though.
Late last year I detailed the issue of superannuation portability for anyone leaving Australia permanently – the issue being they had no portability to their new country.
And there’s a coming change, but only if your destination is New Zealand.
Members of Australian superannuation funds will have the ability to transfer their money to a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme.
The transfer over the Tasman will be similar to a rollover between Australian funds, meaning the transfer will not be subject to tax, but will still be subject to Australian preservation rules.
The Trans-Tasman Portability Scheme will begin from July 1 2013.

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