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Newspoll: Australians back 12% Superannuation Guarantee.

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A Newspoll survey released by the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) confirms that an overwhelming majority (73%) of Australians support the Rudd Government's plan to increase their retirement savings by lifting the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) from 9 to 12%.

This follows research that was recently released by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) that showed over 95% of working Australians aged between 25 and 29 agree with the SG increase.

The Newspoll survey also indicates that 76% of Australians are in favour of the Government's low income earners contribution, which sees the superannuation contributions tax paid by those on up to $37,000 paid into their superannuation account.

The challenges of an ageing population and the retirement income savings gap are very real ones and that is why the Government's Stronger and Fairer Superannuation reforms are targeted at those Australians who need a boost in their retirement savings the most.

For a worker on $28,000, the impact of the Government's superannuation reforms - the new Super Guarantee rate of 12%, the low income Government contribution, along with a $1,000 member contribution - is to take the effective contribution rate to 19% of wages.

Superannuation is shaping up as a key election battleground and the choice for those seeking a comfortable retirement couldn't be any clearer.

On the one hand the Rudd Government's Stronger and Fairer Superannuation reforms will boost retirement incomes through:

• A 12 per cent Superannuation Guarantee (SG)

• A low income earners Government contribution

• Concessional superannuation contribution caps

for those nearing retirement

• Raising the Superannuation Guarantee age

limit from 70 to 75

Alternatively, the Coalition's only standing policy or position on superannuation is that articulated by Tony Abbott in Battlelines last year.

Tony Abbott's vision of Australia's retirement income is one where there superannuation receives no tax concessions - this would have the effect of dismantling Australia's compulsory superannuation system and in the case of a 30-year-old on average weekly earnings, would mean a cut of $211,000 in their superannuation lump sum.

This is after all the person who called compulsory superannuation "one of the biggest con jobs ever foisted by government on the Australian people" (Hansard, 25th September 1995).

8 June 2010