Use your super to buy a home
By SCOTT MURDOCH in Canberra and LOUISE TRECASSI
PEOPLE may be allowed to dip into their superannuation savings to buy a home, under a proposal being considered by the Federal Government.
The move, proposed by the Real Estate Institute of Australia, has been promoted as one way to address the looming housing affordability crisis in the nation's capital cities.
The proposal was made as part of a Government hearing to bolster the superannuation savings of younger people. It would allow people, aged under 40 to use their voluntary contributions as a housing deposit.
The extra injection of funds could stimulate the national housing market, which has started to settle after years of boom times.
Real Estate Institute of South Australia president Mark Sanderson welcomed any incentive to encourage people to enter the property market.
"The issue of home affordability is still a challenge, so this idea is a good way to encourage home ownership for younger people," he said.
The Government estimates people contributed an extra $5 billion of their own money to super savings in the past year.
That figure has been steadily rising after the introduction of the co-contribution scheme in which people are paid $1.50 for every $1 they put in themselves.
The national super savings pool now stands at $741 billion.
The early access was proposed by the national real estate institute, but has been supportively discussed at recent meetings of the parliamentary economics committee.
The plan has been condemned by Labor, which said it could allow tax rorting to seep into the super system.
Opposition finance spokesman Lindsay Tanner said: "The whole point of retirement income is to have diversified portfolio of investments.
"If you put one big slab into one asset then there's risk associated with that and it changes the profile of the overall assets that you're holding."