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AIST’s pre-budget submission has recommended a one-off government contribution to the super accounts of low-income earners who accessed their super early through the COVID early release scheme.
Our submission – to be released next week – also reiterates the vital importance of the government following through on its election commitment to increasing the Super Guarantee to 12%.
AIST notes that the impact of the COVID early release super scheme – which saw a total of 3.4 million Australians suffering financial hardship withdraw around $36 billion of their super – fell heavily on low-income workers and other vulnerable individuals who will struggle to recoup their lost super savings.
AIST’s most recent analysis of the COVID scheme – which received wide media coverage across print, online, tv and radio - found that nearly one million people under the age of 35 closed or drained their super through the scheme. Many of these young workers were likely low paid casual employees who would not have qualified for JobKeeper relief or, in the interim, JobSeeker.
Further analysis of the scheme showed that young workers were twice as likely as older workers to close their super accounts. Women were more likely to have their accounts closed due to early release payments, compared to men in the same age cohort. Given the number of closed accounts resulting from the scheme, it’s clear that many of these individuals did not have a lot of super to begin with.
Under AIST’s proposal low-income earners (those earning less than $39,837) who accessed their super early and met the eligibility criteria would receive a government contribution based on a quarter of the balance withdrawn and no more than $5000.
The ATO has updated its information on the general transfer balance cap with individual TBCs set to rise to between $1.6 million and $1.7 million on 1 July, 2021.
The rise is occurring because the All Groups consumer price index figure for the December 2020 quarter was 117.2. This was higher than the 116.9 figure required to trigger indexation.
Once indexation of the general transfer balance occurs, no single TBC will apply to all individuals. Instead, individuals will have a personal TBC somewhere between $1.6 and $1.7 million. If an individual already has a TBC, the only place they can view their personal TBC is in ATO online services through myGov.
The ATO calculates each individual’s personal TBC based on the information reported to and processed by us. If individual’s report pre 1 July 2021 events after 1 July 2021, the ATO will go back and recalculate the member’s personal TBC and apply that new cap to their affairs.
Indexation of the general TBC will also lead to changes in a number of other caps and limits in the super system.
To read more click here.
The Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) has welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement it will join the international Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI) and refresh the National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy.
The CCRI is a finance sector-led initiative bringing together over 75 institutional investors, banks, insurers, rating agencies and governments, representing over US$10 trillion in assets, to address climate resilience challenges. The CCRI aims to develop consistent frameworks to accurately price physical climate risks in investment decisions, which will help reduce exposure and channel more private capital towards building greater resilience across economies and communities.
IGCC CEO Emma Herd said worsening natural disasters across Australia, including the intensity of the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires, were a reminder of the physical risks that climate change poses to our economy and communities.
“The Australian Government’s decision to join the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment and update the national strategy are welcome steps toward bolstering the necessary frameworks for managing climate risk and accelerating private capital support for climate adaptation measures,” Ms Herd said.
IGCC is a supporting institution of the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment and a member of the initiative’s Asset Design & Structuring Working Group.
The latest ABS data shows that seasonally adjusted employment increased by 50,000 people between November and December 2020.
The number of employed people in Australia was 88,000 lower in December compared to March, but was 784,000 higher than May.
Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS, said this latest data showed that the broad recovery in the labour market had continued through to the end of the year. "Employment finished the year 0.7 per cent below the March level, having fallen 6.7 per cent, or 872,000 people, between March and May. Although employment has recovered 90 per cent of the fall from March to May, the recovery in part-time employment has outpaced full-time employment. While part-time employment was higher than March, full-time employment was 1.3 per cent below March,” Mr Jarvis said.
The unemployment rate decreased 0.2 percentage points to 6.6 per cent.
The current status of superannuation Bills currently before Parliament can be found here.