With inflation and soaring interest rates hitting the household budget, this year’s Federal Budget contained some important changes for super and provided welcome measures aimed at addressing cost of living challenges – including a pay rise for people working in aged care.
We’re pleased to see this Budget containing impactful measures to support women’s economic participation, while also supporting vulnerable women who are most affected by cost-of-living pressures. We were disappointed, however, that the Budget didn’t do more to close the super gender gap.
Read on for a snapshot of the changes, including:
Note, some of these Budget measures are proposals only, and subject to passage of legislation.
Under the proposed change, people with total super balances over this threshold will be subject to an additional 15% tax on investment earnings on any balance that exceeds the $3 million threshold at the end of the financial year. This tax is in addition to the tax already paid on any investment earnings in your super or transition to retirement account. It is not yet clear how the government will administer this new tax.
Proposed start date: 1 July 2025
The Federal Government proposes to introduce legislation that means employers would be required to pay compulsory Super Guarantee (SG) contributions to your super account at the same time as you’re paid your salary or wages from 1 July 2026. Currently SG is to be paid at least quarterly.
More regular payments mean your money is invested sooner, with more potential for compounding and growth in your super balance. More frequent contributions will also make it easier to see your super contributions hitting your account – making it easier to see if your employer forgets to pay your super guarantee.
The ATO will receive additional resourcing to help it detect unpaid super payments earlier and the Government will set enhanced targets for the ATO for the recovery of payments.
HESTA welcomes the payment of super on payday as these changes will improve retirement outcomes for around 8.9 million Australians, including young people and people on low incomes who are most likely to have unpaid super. Payday super will help people who need it most – women, those on low incomes, and people working in casual and insecure work.
The proposed start date of 1 July 2026 is intended to provide employers, super funds, payroll providers, the ATO and other parts of the superannuation system with sufficient time to prepare for the change.
Proposed Start date: 1 July 2026
From 1 July 2023, more than 250,000 frontline aged care employees on award wages – including nurses, personal care workers, cooks, recreational officers and home care workers – will receive a 15% pay rise. This pay rise provides welcome and long-overdue recognition to many HESTA members – many of whom are women - working in aged care.
A further bonus of the pay rise will be the increase in the value of super contributions being paid because of higher wages.
Proposed start date: 1 July 2023
The government is partnering with state and territory governments to deliver up to $3 billion of electricity bill relief for eligible households and small businesses.
From July 2023, it’s expected the proposed plan will deliver up to $500 in electricity bill relief for eligible households and up to $650 for eligible small businesses.
Proposed start date: July 2023
Benefiting around 1.1 million households (including 310,000 who are receiving the Age Pension), the government has proposed an increase of 15% to the maximum rates of Commonwealth Rent Assistance.
Proposed start date: September 2023
Around 1.1 million Australians will receive a $40 per fortnight increase to their basic payment rate of eligible working age and student payments, including:
Proposed start date: September 2023
Eligibility for the higher rate of JobSeeker payment will be extended to single Australians aged 55 to 59 who have been on the payment for nine or more continuous months. This will benefit around 52,000 recipients, 55% of whom are women and acknowledges the additional barriers these recipients experience in re-entering the workforce, including age discrimination or poor health.
JobSeeker recipients aged 60 years and older will also benefit from the $40 increase per fortnight to their basic payment rate.
Proposed start date: September 2023
The government has proposed to extend a measure (introduced in the October 2022 Federal Budget) that provides age and veteran pensioners a once-off credit of $4,000 to their ‘Work Bonus income bank’ until 31 December 2023.
Under this measure, pensioners can earn up to $11,800 before their pension is reduced, supporting pensioners who want to work, or work more hours, to do so without losing their pension.
Proposed extension to 31 December 2023
The government will introduce legislation that means employers will be required to pay super on payday from 1 July 2026.
If you’d like to discuss the transition to payday super, please reach out to your key HESTA contact or call our employer support team on 1800 813 327.
Start date: 1 July 2026
The government has set aside $40.2 million to the ATO in 2023–24 to improve data matching capabilities to identify and act on cases of SG underpayment by employers and for consultation and co-design.
The government will also set targets for the ATO on which they will be assessed on their recovery of unpaid super.
As part of HESTA’s announcement of a strengthened interim emission reduction target in September last year, we have committed to invest 10% of the portfolio by 2030 in climate solutions like renewable energy and sustainable property.
HESTA welcomes the development of the government’s sustainable finance agenda, which will provide important elements of the framework needed to assist investors to reach their climate targets.
As part of their sustainable finance agenda, the government has committed to co-funding an “Australian Sustainable Finance Taxonomy” – a project to more consistently define and categorise sustainable investments. An Australian taxonomy will help investors understand climate risk and identify opportunities to invest in climate solutions supporting the energy transition.
$10 billion has been set aside by the government in the Budget for the Housing Australia Future Fund. The Fund will support the delivery of 30,000 social and affordable homes in its first five years. This measure is expected to encourage investment and construction in the build-to-rent sector, expanding Australia’s housing supply.
We’re in favour of any Budget measures aimed at addressing the housing crisis. A lack of access to housing impacts our members who provide critical services and need to afford housing near their work, and economic productivity that presents broader systemic risks to long-term investors like us.
We have the opportunity to innovate and invest to meet an unmet need, providing our members with appropriate risk-adjusted investment returns by improving housing supply.
You can find more details on all the Federal Budget announcements at budget.gov.au.