Posted in: Insights

07/11/2011

The removal of the age bar for superannuation guarantee contributions has been warmly welcomed by age discrimination commissioner Susan Ryan of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Speaking last week, Ryan said that removing the restrictions on superannuation guarantee contributions from July 1 2013 is good news for all employees, regardless of age.

She said: "This amendment sends a strong and positive message to older employees - and to their employers - that age should not be a barrier to employment, nor should it be a barrier to equal employee rights and entitlements."

Ryan added that removing the age bar ensures all employees' rights are equal - and may even encourage some to remain longer in their jobs, which could have the knock-on effect of allowing them to retire with more superannuation.

She explained: "They will have more super to retire on, the government will have a lower age pension bill and productivity will grow as older workers are encouraged to continue in their jobs."

As the federal government had previously announced it would raise the bar from the current cap of age 70 to age 75, a move to abolish it completely is an excellent result, she remarked.

Currently, people who remain in the workforce who are over the age of 70 do not receive superannuation guarantee contributions.

Speaking on November 2, superannuation minister Bill Shorten called the change a "win" for older Australians.

He made the announcement as he also introduced the superannuation guarantee rate legislation into parliament, which would see the superannuation rate increase from nine per cent to 12 per cent.

The changes, Shorten explained, are the most significant amendments made to superannuation in nearly two decades - and could stand to benefit nearly 8.4 million Australians.

Increasing the guarantee rate to 12 per cent could see the collective super funds in Australia boosted by an estimated $500 billion before 2535.