Australia's strange history of superannuation

23 Apr 2013

Earlier this month, the federal government announced that high-income earners' superannuation contributions would no longer be tax-free. Rear Vision dives into the murky waters of superannuation to see just how Australia came up with its unusual system of retirement funding.

The establishment of a compulsory superannuation system in Australia was a response to the financial challenges posed everywhere in the western world by an expanding aged population. Forcing all workers to save for their retirement would relieve the pressure on Australia’s age pension.

Australia’s superannuation schemes go back to the nineteenth century and pre-date the age pension, which only became available after federation. However, before the introduction of compulsory superannuation in 1992, the hundreds of small superannuation schemes that existed were available to no more than 50 per cent of the working population.

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Photo Credit: Rahul Chhiber via Compfight cc

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