Sacked minister turned Labor backbencher Simon Crean made it clear on Monday he would not support his government taxing superannuation retrospectively.
Sacked minister turned Labor backbencher Simon Crean made it clear on Monday he would not support his government taxing superannuation retrospectively. Marc Stapelberg

Simon Crean's comments reflect 'panic' over superannuation

AN AUSTRALIAN peak industry body says Federal Labor MP Simon Crean's opposition to retrospective taxing of superannuation is a reflection of how "very, very scared" people are about what the government may do to their retirement funds.

The Federal Government is currently weighing up reforms to the superannuation system including the possibility of an increase in taxes on superannuation contributions.

Sacked minister turned Labor backbencher Simon Crean made it clear on Monday he would not support his government taxing superannuation retrospectively.

Mr Crean said he did not have a problem with improving the adequacy and making the system more sustainable.

"But where you have to draw the line is any attempt to tax retrospectively," he told ABC News 24.

Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia chief executive officer Pauline Vamos said Mr Crean's comments reflected the panic in people.

"...and the uncertainty and particularly over what the government might do has all people in superannuation concerned," she said.

"When you have low-income earners in their 50s trying to put as much as they can away in superannuation worried they might not have enough, there is a bit of panic out there."

Ms Vamos said she agreed with changes to the system on the basis of long-term - rather than short-term - policy."Let's have a debate about the sustainability of the system," she said.

"Let's move it to a system where people, through incentives, have tax income streams. Let's make those changes. But don't use the superannuation system for short term policy goals."

The association is calling for a universal system and a focus on income streams.

Trade Minister Craig Emerson said all would be revealed by the Federal Government's Budget release on May 14.

"But there is not proposition to tax every superannuation for everyday Australians and small business people - that is the truth of the matter," he told Sky News.


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