Bipartisan support is needed for the Superannuation Guarantee to increase to 12 per cent, according to the super industry’s five peak bodies, who competed with the aggrieved mining sector for airtime in Canberra yesterday.

A joint statement was issued in the capital yesterday by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST), the Investment and Financial Services Association (IFSA), the Industry Super Network (ISN) and the Self-Managed Superannuation Fund Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA).

Opposition to low-income tax measures, top-up arrangements for the over-50s and increasing the SG to 12 per cent by 2019 threatened to leave millions of Australians with less than adequate retirement savings, the rare alliance of the five bodies said.

The five bodies said the reforms would see super accounts boosted by $110,000 at retirement for the average worker, if they received the support of both parties.

The bodies said super was essential to meet the challenge of an ageing society, to deepen the country’s savings pool, and provide funds for infrastructure.

“The Government’s schedule for the increase is both well-telegraphed and measured, enabling employers, employees and unions to come to suitable arrangements,” the statement said.

“Businesses were not adversely affected when compulsory super was introduced back in 1992. Almost 10 years later, company profits had risen and labour costs had dropped while at the same time Australia’s retirement savings pool had grown substantially,” the bodies said. “Our universal system is internationally recognised as being world’s best practice across OECD nations.”

The super bodies also said reforms would lift the retirement savings of low-income workers, particularly women, as well as older workers wanting to top-up their super.

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