The Federal Government is threatening to use the cover of coronavirus to ruin your retirement.
Since the union movement and workers won employer paid superannuation the Liberals have been out to destroy it. Union members fought for superannuation to be paid on top of our wages because all workers should retire with dignity. Compulsory, employer-paid superannuation is your passport to a dignified retirement, and it is essential that the superannuation guarantee rises to 12 per cent to get that.
Next year, on 1 July, your superannuation will go from 9.5 per cent to 10% without having to do a thing. And by 2025 it will reach 12 per cent. This will add thousands of dollars to your super balance by retirement, which will make a huge difference to your quality of life.
Over the next couple of months, you will hear Liberal politicians, economists, and big business bleat about how super will cost wages or jobs or both. They tried this on us in the 80s and 90s when we won super – workplace by workplace, industry by industry. They tried this on us when we won paid parental leave. And they said that cutting penalty rates for workers would create jobs. But they were wrong every time.
Now they want to cut super and cancel the already legislated increase of super. And the price of them winning is your dignity in retirement.
Super is not perfect and there are things still to address. Women, at the moment, retire with 47 per cent of the superannuation of men, on average. And women over 50 are the fastest growing group of homeless people in Australia. There are real and growing barriers which women face in getting a good retirement. The $450 threshold, that superannuation isn’t paid on parental leave, and super isn’t paid to ABN workers means that women retire with less.
This Government have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at industry super funds, they directed a Productivity Commission inquiry into industry funds, asked the Royal Commission to look into industry funds and are running a parliamentary inquiry trying to tie up industry funds resources. At each test, the industry funds workers built have come out on top. Industry funds perform better and are better run than the scandal-plagued banks and for-profit super funds.
The way we fix this is by reinforcing super, not tearing it down. I haven’t met a single worker near retirement who has said they wish they had less super. Not a single worker is better off by cutting super. We need to reform super to ensure every worker retires with dignity.