Top-earning retirees get bigger tax breaks

Australia's top-earning retirees get the lion's share of tax breaks.
Australia's top-earning retirees get the lion's share of tax breaks.

THE highest-earning 10 per cent of retirees receive nearly double the available tax concessions compared to the lowest 90 per cent and the government wants to know if that’s fair.

The government released its retirement income review consultation paper on Friday which includes Treasury analysis showing higher income earners got more tax breaks over their lifetime.

The review into Australians’ retirement savings was recommended earlier this year by the Productivity Commission.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg laid out the terms of reference in September, which included looking into super, the age pension and home ownership.

Mr Frydenberg has already ruled out including the family home in the pension test but the review will look into it anyway.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

The paper also points to research saying home owners over 65 face lower rates of financial hardship than renters.

The review will consider questions of whether the retirement income system is equitable, sustainable and adequate.

Liberal backbenchers have also called for the legislated increase in compulsory super contributions to be scrapped, which the government has ruled out.

Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said the review was a “stalking horse for more cuts to the pension”.

“In three terms, the Liberals have tried time and time again to gut the incomes of retirees and pensioners by cutting the pension, trying to increase the pension age to 70, and delaying the increase to the superannuation guarantee,” he said.

“Attacks on the pension and superannuation are in their DNA.”