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Latham Announces Policy To Restrict Parliamentary Superannuation

A Labor government will close down the existing superannuation schemes for MPs, judges and the Governor-General, and replace them with schemes more in keeping with the “community standard”.

The policy was released today by the Opposition Leader, Mark Latham. He said the schemes were a “major source of public dissatisfaction and cynicism in modern politics”.

No new entrants will be allowed into the schemes, but all current members will receive their entitlements.

  • Listen to Latham’s Announcement (8m)

This is a media statement released by Mark Latham.

Today I can announce that a Labor Government will close down the superannuation schemes for Federal MPs, judges and the Governor-General.

These schemes are well outside the community standard in Australia and have become out-of-date. They offer superannuation benefits seven times more generous than the current contribution scheme available to the general public.

Parliamentary superannuation has become a major source of public dissatisfaction and cynicism in modern politics. That is why a Labor Government will pass legislation closing the scheme to new entrants. We will do the same for the other two schemes.

Closure of the schemes will be achieved consistent with existing practice for closure of defined benefit funds where no retrospectivity is involved. However, closing the schemes to new entrants will, over time, phase out these arrangements. This is the beginning of the end for the current parliamentary superannuation scheme.

Having made this policy decision today, I have also thought long and hard about my own superannuation arrangements. If elected Prime Minister, I will ensure my superannuation benefits are reduced to those of a Cabinet Minister – cutting the salary of office superannuation loading for the Prime Minister from 160 per cent to 72.5 per cent. Depending on how long we stay in government and how long I stay alive, this is a superannuation sacrifice of between $500,000 and $1.9 million.

This cap will also apply to all future Deputy Prime Ministers, Treasurers, Senate Leaders, Leaders of the House, House Speakers and Senate Presidents.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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