Current superannuation tax concessions are enormous. There are $30 billion worth of superannuation tax concessions per year. Almost half those tax breaks go to the wealthiest 12% and almost a fifth go to the wealthiest 2% of Australians.
My understanding is that by 2015 the tax breaks on super will be higher than what the Govt is paying in age pensions - for the life of me I can't find the current annual cost for pensions so wont claim my memory is totally correct.
Add in the TRP, which is generally used as a tax minimisation method rather than it's intended purpose of allowing people over 55 to start part time work. Being able to take the pension and then salary sacrifice a far larger amount back into super seems wrong to me.
I think we need to start looking at limiting the tax benefits on Super to higher income earners. I know the current Govt has started this process with a 300K annual salary limit on employer concessional payments, but really this seems too high to me. Possibly lowering it to 100K would greatly reduce the cost - hopefully resulting in personal tax cuts - and it would only affect a small % of people.
I doubt that reducing the tax effectiveness of super for the very wealthy - I include myself in this since I earn over 100K a year - would stop us from saving for our retirement.
To me a tax break is the same as spending. We are currently spending $30 billion a year - nearly an NBN every year - on super tax concessions. Australia provides the highest tax concessions for super in the world. We are the only country to provide confessional treatment on the way in, on the earnings inside the fund, and on the way out. In 15 years there will be double the number of people getting tax free super pensions. How will those left paying taxes afford to pay them?
Have a look at the below 2 charts. They show how biased the tax concessions are with super.
Over to you