The National – Wednesday, February 2, 2011
NAMBAWAN Super’s proposal to review the Superannuation Act 2000 has not gone down well with the National Superannuation Fund (Nasfund).
In a statement yesterday, Nasfund said the move was both “premature and unfortunate and was raised without proper process and industry consultation”.
Nasfund said the proper process was through the Association of Superannuation Funds where a sub-committee would firstly determine whether there was industry support for such a move and, if so, what terms of reference would be suitable.
The Nasfund statement described the proposal as “a scattergun approach” by NSL chief executive officer Leon Buskens and that the public announcement of a “wish list of proposed superannuation changes without industry consultation” would only muddy the waters.
“This is further muddied by the fact that there is no official statement from the Central Bank and we doubt whether any written endorsement of this proposal exists,” Nasfund said.
The statement further stated: “In regards to increases in the proposed rates of superannuation contribution, such a move is not justifiable. Asking the majority of workers, who are finding it hard to make ends meet, to cough up additional compulsory employee savings of 2% above the current 6% would cause immediate difficulties for low income earners such as security guards, agricultural workers and the like.
“Similarly, private sector employers have no interest in seeing their wages bill expand even further, having just faced a period of rising costs – rising costs through higher wages because of the effect of the resource boom, minimum wage laws and currency depreciation.
“If employees wish to pay more into super from their wage packets, they, of course, should be encouraged, but not through compulsion. Similarly, jobs are created through lowering costs, not creating additional charges.”
Other issues like compassionate grounds were already covered under the existing act. Previous attempts to change this section had been resisted in two previous taskforces, and for good reason, Nasfund said.