Wealthy using super to dodge taxes: ACOSS

File iamge of ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie and community sector leaders during a press conference in Canberra, August 2014. Source: AAP

The Turnbull government is seeking to put the purpose of superannuation into law to help boost confidence in the system.

Superannuation should be about an adequately funded retirement, not a tax avoidance vehicle for the rich.

That's the view of Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) boss Cassandra Goldie, responding to the Turnbull government's aim of enshrining the purpose of superannuation in law.

Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer released a discussion paper on Wednesday that seeks to find an agreed objective for superannuation, as recommended by the financial system inquiry chaired by David Murray that concluded last year.

"Australians will have more confidence in the system and know that we are all working towards the same goal," Ms O'Dwyer told an Association of Superannuation Fund of Australia conference in Melbourne.

But CPA Australia head Alex Malley said developing an effective retirement savings policy is more than just developing objectives for super.

"It must also encompass the non-superannuation investments, including the family home, the age pension, and aged care," he told AAP.

Labor wants a bipartisan approach to the super objective that ensures that as many Australians as possible have access to a dignified retirement without relying on the full-age pension.

"Enshrining a simple objective for superannuation in law would provide a benchmark with which we can measure the impact of other policy changes," shadow treasurer Chris Bowen says.

Financial Services Council chief executive Sally Loane said along with the Murray review's call for an increased standard of governance and more competition, this will deliver the best outcomes for consumers.

But the ACOSS chief believes there is a "yawning gap" between what the super system should do and what it actually does.

"It has become a wealth accumulation and tax avoidance vehicle for people with high incomes," Ms Goldie says.

While reaching an agreement on the purpose of super is important, she believes that should not delay promised tax reform.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Kate Carnell said super must be treated as a long-term system.

"The political process often makes piecemeal changes ... (but) we do not have a reliable way of assessing its operations and the need for change," she said.

Source AAP

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