The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) wants the earnings threshold for the super guarantee abolished, salary sacrifice into super universalised, and the introduction of a ‘super baby bonus’ for women, according to its pre-Budget submission.

The superannuation system could not call itself a truly “;national”; system while ever it excluded those earning less than $450 per month, according to AIST policy & research manager, Andrew Barr. “;If a worker is at the point they should be – that is with a single super account, and employers with well-established systems for administering super payments – then cost can no longer be used as an excuse for shutting them out of the system,”; Barr said, pointing out the Government’s proposed central clearing house for super contributions would make the system even more employer-friendly. Building on that theme, AIST also recommended that all employees be able to ‘sacrifice’ pre-tax salary in the form of voluntary super contributions, saying that less than 25 per cent of Australian workers do so now. Another major recommendation of the pre-Budget submission was the introduction of a ‘super baby bonus’ to top up a new mum’s nominated super account. AIST recommended the ‘super baby bonus’ “;should be a tax-free payment in the hands of the fund, which would form part of the untaxed component of the ultimate benefit (similar to the co-contribution). It should be pitched at a level that would restore the superannuation savings of a women on full-time Average Weekly Earnings and basic SG, who takes twelve months unpaid leave, (currently approximately $4000 after allowing for the tax that would apply to SG contributions).”;