There’s no use in working hard and retiring poor

Over 55,000 of Isaacs residents will benefit from a rise in compulsory super from nine to 12 per cent, new data from the Federal Treasury shows today.

Over 55,000 of Isaacs residents will benefit from a rise in compulsory super from nine to 12 per cent, new data from the Federal Treasury shows today.

Member for Isaacs, Mark Dreyfus QC MP, said "With an ageing population it is vital working Australians have enough money to retire on into the future."

"Given life expectancy is increasing and retirement is more an experience of decades rather than a few years, 9 percent superannuation is simply not enough.  This is especially the case for women, who have child raising breaks in their career and have a longer life expectancy than men."

"It's unfortunate that Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, is opposed to increasing superannuation to 12 per cent particularly when super funds have been under the pump with recent share market falls."

"This is effectively putting the retirements of thousands of my constituents in Isaacs at risk and forcing future taxpayers to pay more towards supporting our ageing population."

Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten said "Compulsory super was introduced 20 years ago by the then Labor Government. Since then it has been a huge benefit to individuals and to the country as a whole."

As of March 2011 Australia enjoys well over $1.36 trillion invested in superannuation. While there have been market fluctuations, over the long term superannuation has delivered a very healthy return for investors.

Chant West data showed that despite the global financial crisis, over the past 15 years the average growth fund has averaged 4.1% above the rate of inflation.

"More money invested in super means more money for investing in Australian companies and new infrastructure for our communities. It also means that, as our population ages, less taxpayer money will have to be spent on the aged pension," Mr Dreyfus said.

"In the early 90s the very idea of compulsory super was denounced by the Opposition and the business lobby as a company-killer, that unemployment would rise, the economy would be damaged. All wrong of course. In fact, during those years nine per cent super was introduced, unemployment fell, productivity was higher, more small businesses were started," Mr Shorten said.

Increasing the compulsory super guarantee will therefore not only benefit the retirement savings of individuals, it will benefit the economy and the country.

"Twenty years on and compulsory super in Australia is coming of age. What we need to do now is decide where we want our superannuation to be in the next 20 years," Mr Dreyfus said.