Australian PM Reconsiders Superannuation Rise

August 21, 2020 Updated: August 21, 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he’ll be watching what happens with the economy when considering whether to hold off on a rise in the superannuation guarantee.

The guarantee rate is legislated to rise from 9.5 percent to 10 percent in July next year, eventually rising to 12 percent in 2025.

Coalition MPs and some business leaders and economists have been lobbying for the prime minister not to allow the rise to go ahead, arguing it is not good for business and keeps a lid on future wage rises.

Morrison, who promised at the 2019 election to deliver the rise, says circumstances have changed since then – particularly the economic recession driven by coronavirus.

“Prior to the election it was certainly my view that those were legislated changes and increases and we had no plans to change any of those,” he says.

“COVID-19 has occurred, people’s jobs are at risk … (and) that said, it is something the government has to carefully consider.”

However, he said the rise was not scheduled until July 2021, “so I don’t think there is any undue haste that is needed here to consider these issues”.

“I would certainly hope, and I am an optimist, that by May of next year that we are looking at a very different situation.”

Labor will question the government’s commitment to the guarantee rise when parliament sits next week.

“Cutting super is a pay cut, pure and simple,” Labor spokesman Stephen Jones says.

“But it is worse than that. Less money now, less money in retirement.”

There are also a number of public petitions in train arguing for the law to be upheld and not amended.

By Paul Osborne in Canberra