Issue: 325
Sent: 04-12-2012 09:20:03
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Tougher future for iron ore miners as China economy restructuresThe Essential SMSF Guide 2012-13Centre for Independent Studies policy release about the Super Guarantee
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Centre for Independent Studies policy release about the Super Guarantee

Click here to buy - A How To Book of SMSF's by Tony Negline
Tony Negline

Over the weekend the Centre for Independent Studies released a Policy Monograph about the Super Guarantee.

In my view the document doesn't say too much that isn't already known about what's wrong with the SG system. Overall its author, Dr Stephen Kirchner, is negative about the SG system and suggests a selection of potential improvements.

It's reasonable to assume that many financial services people will disagree with his views especially where he questions the suitability of compulsory super as a policy and the overall efficiency of the super 'marketplace'.

Given the current Government has legislated recent increases in the SG it's unlikely to undo what they'll argue is good work. As the Coalition have also signed up to the same policy it's also unlikely they'll undo these increases.

In other words the current system isn't going to change to any significant extent. This isn't necessarily a good outcome.

Dr Kirchner suggests that super should only be taxed when benefits are taken and that benefits should have to be taken as annuities. I have no problem with the idea that super monies should be used to provide income in retirement. I'm not convinced the compulsory use of life office statutory funds or defined benefit reserving strategies is the most efficient and overall best approach.

He also argues that the aged pension should be harder to get. Good luck with the political implementation of this policy. He thinks that super benefits should only become available at the age pension age - but interestingly he makes no recommendation that this age needs to be increased beyond the current maximum of 67.

If the current age pension policy reflected similar thinking to that put in place by the politicians in charge in 1910, the aged pension wouldn't be available until about age 85. I can't see too many people agreeing to such a change even if it would significantly reduce the Government's social security bill.

The Essential SMSF Guide

My book which I first self-published in 2009 is now published by Thomson Reuters as The Essential SMSF Guide. Thomson Reuters are responsible for distributing the book (which is now up to date to 30 June 2012). The book has been endorsed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Further details are available here:

http://www.thomsonreuters.com.au/the-essential-smsf-guide-2012-13/productdetail/116875


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