Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Labor welcomes $1 trillion superannuation assets.

Download PDFDownload PDF

WAYNE SWAN MP Federal Labor Shadow Treasurer


Today marks a milestone in Australia’s superannuation history.

Superannuation assets have now surpassed $1 trillion, according to figures released today by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

This is the direct product of the vision of the Hawke-Keating Labor government who laid down the central platform for Australia’s modern superannuation system.

It was Labor who introduced the superannuation guarantee in 1992 with a programme to increase guarantee to 9 per cent by 1 July 2002.

The 9 per cent superannuation guarantee has underwritten the flow of more than $60 billion in superannuation savings each year.

The Labor government achieved this despite fierce opposition from John Howard and Peter Costello.

Some of Howard’s more memorable quotes when opposing the introduction of compulsory superannuation were:

"That superannuation deal, which represents all that is rotten with industrial relations in Australia".

"That it is not genuine superannuation; it is a disguised deferred pay rise"

"Last night's deal was a classic industrial relations sell-out of the long term national interest".

Let’s not forget Peter Costello’s desire to scuttle Labor’s policy of increasing superannuation contributions. Prior to the 1996 election Costello promised to continue with Labor’s policy to increase contributions from 9 per cent to 15 per cent, if elected. Unfortunately, this turned out to be just another ‘non-core’ promise.

If they had kept their commitment, superannuation would be well on the way to $2 trillion and Australian’s would have had much greater superannuation savings for their retirement.

After having opposed the very reforms that put in place Australia’s modern superannuation system, it is ironic that Costello has now staked his claim to making “the biggest reform to superannuation that Australia has ever seen”.

29 March 2007 Contact: Matthew Coghlan 0415 098050