House of Representatives

Treasury Laws Amendment (More Flexible Superannuation) Bill 2020

Second Reading Speech

Mr SUKKAR (Deakin - Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing)

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (More Flexible Superannuation) Bill 2020 delivers on the Morrison government's election promise to give Australians greater flexibility to contribute to their superannuation as they approach retirement.

This government recognises the realities of the modern Australian workplace - a workplace that has become more flexible than ever before.

Far more Australians are taking career breaks or working part time to raise children; and in particular, we are seeing an unprecedented number of women rejoining the workforce. Many people are choosing to work longer, often part time - choosing to maintain a connection to their professional lives.

And as our workplaces evolve, so too must plans for retirement.

With this great progress comes an imperative for government. We must ensure our super system is equipped with the same flexibility as our workplaces.

The superannuation bring-forward arrangement already provides flexibility in the superannuation system to allow individuals to make up to three years worth of non-concessional contributions to their superannuation in a single year.

This bill therefore amends the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 to extend access to the superannuation bring-forward arrangements to people aged 65 and 66 from 1 July 2020 to better reflect the changing nature of work.

Through this measure, the Morrison government is helping older Australians to boost their retirement savings, especially if they have returned to the workforce, by giving them greater flexibility to make superannuation contributions as they enter retirement.

It also aligns the cut-off age of 67 for the bring-forward arrangements with the eligibility age for the pension, which is scheduled to reach 67 on 1 July 2023.

The measure is part of a broader package announced in the 2019-20 budget context. The remaining measures will:

allow people aged 65 and 66 to make both voluntary concessional and non-concessional contributions without meeting the work test; and
allow those aged 70 to 74 to receive spouse contributions.

The government will give effect to these remaining measures by amending the relevant regulations. Full details of the measures are contained in the EM.

By fulfilling our election commitment through this bill, the Morrison government is continuing to ensure all Australians have additional flexibility in how they save as they transition to retirement. I therefore commend the bill to the chamber.

Debate adjourned.