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Contentious research challenges planned super changes

Grattan Institute

New research suggests that raising compulsory superannuation to 12 per cent of wages would make middle class Australian workers $30,000 a year worse off.

A report released by the Grattan Institute suggested that the planned increase of the superannuation guarantee will have the net result of hurting Australians’ wealth, given stagnant wages growth.  

“We expect any higher super contributions would be paid for via lower wages,” Grattan said. 

“Proponents of lifting compulsory super insist it won’t come from workers’ wages. But we’ve assumed it would – because the evidence suggests that more super means lower wages. It’s a reasonable assumption, because while the evidence isn’t perfect, it all runs in the same direction,” Grattan said. 

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“If employers aren’t willing to give wage rises, why would they absorb an increase in compulsory super?”

This research has been met with fury by the superannuation industry, who have long been lobbying for an increase in the superannuation guarantee. 

Industry Super Australia’s acting chief executive believes the Grattan Institute has contradicted itself, making its statement incorrect. 

“One week they’re claiming an increase in super won’t reduce the age pension, the next they claim people will be worse off because they will miss out on the age pension if they retire with more money,” he said.

“Both can’t be true. This proves their analysis simply doesn’t stack up. Despite this, they continue to use deeply flawed modelling to peddle incorrect and misleading claims about the superannuation guarantee,” said Mr Linden.

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Contentious research challenges planned super changes
Grattan Institute
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