The Superannuation Swindle

Share with your friends










Submit

A recent report found that most people aged between 35 and 44 will not have enough in their retirement accounts to survive without the age pension. Worse still, the amount available to women from this group will be half that of men who retire at age 60. Once again, neoliberal “reforms” hit women hardest. Privatisation of retirement income was always bound to punish women more. Those who designed the policy ignored the fact that women workers take the vast bulk of available parental leave. This means the saving capacities of women are years less than men, even if they are in the rare position of earning the same income as their male co-workers.

Of course, it’s much worse than that, particularly under WorkChoices. Women’s take-home pay has gone backwards under the new industrial regime. They make up the bulk of the casual workforce, often receiving only
the minimum wage, with no access to paid leave or penalty rates, no job security and no prospect of a promotion. Little wonder that many have no cash left over to pay for their own retirement.

It happened so long ago, it’s easy to forget that the superannuation pool is based on years of foregone wage rises during the time of the Prices and Incomes Accord, a deal between the ACTU and the Labor Party which kept the ALP in power for over a decade during the ’80s and ’90s. Rather than being left in a safe deposit, it’s gambled on the stock market on a daily basis. What will happen when the next crash occurs? Tens of billions will be ripped out of the retirement income of most Australian workers.

Older Australians, which will include all of us some day, deserve to be respected and to live in comfort during their retirement. So here’s a radical idea. Why not close all the private super funds and roll the money into a secure, guaranteed national pension fund? Why not take it out of the hands of the money managers and place it in the care of an elected board of trustees? While we’re doing that, why not return to that “old fashioned” sensible idea that those who have paid taxes all their lives are entitled to a decent income in retirement? That’s called Social Welfare. It need not cost anything. It can be paid for by massive cuts to corporate welfare and an end to military spending. Money for pensions, not for war!

Share with your friends










Submit