Superannuation in Australia refers to the arrangements which people make in Australia to have funds available for them in retirement. Superannuation in Australia is government-supported and encouraged, and minimum provisions are compulsory for employees. An individual can withdraw funds out of a superannuation fund when the person meets one of the conditions of release.
Before 1992, reasonably widespread superannuation arrangements had been in place for many years under industrial awards negotiated by the union movement between wage increases. In 1992, the Keating Labor government introduced a compulsory “Superannuation Guarantee” system as part of a major reform package addressing Australia’s retirement income policies. It was calculated that Australia, along with many other Western nations, would experience a major demographic shift in the coming decades, resulting in the anticipated increase in age pension payments placing an unaffordable strain on the Australian economy.
- The proposed solution was a “three pillars” approach to retirement income:
- A safety net consisting of a means-tested Government age pension system
- Private savings generated through compulsory contributions to superannuation
- Voluntary savings through superannuation and other investments