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Abstract

Australia’s retirement policies are geared to shifting reliance from the Age Pension to private superannuation, predominately via the use of tax expenditures. This article examines tax expenditures in this area and concludes that inequities and inefficiencies abound. Reform is required. It is argued that the functions of revenue collection and social support should be separated, and the use of tax expenditures in superannuation should be discarded. A rebate system, or a spending initiative, is proposed. This ‘output based equity’ approach will address fairness and equity issues at the time of retirement - when full benefits are received.

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