Super’s gender gap is a key tax reform issue

TREASURER Scott Morrison says Australia needs superannuation that takes into account the gender gap in super savings.

But Mr Morrison stopped short of backing a proposal to save the budget $6 billion by changing superannuation contribution taxes.

He told 2GB Radio the government was open to all ideas but he did not explicitly back the Deloitte Access Economics proposal.

A Deloitte report showed up to $6 billion could be saved by giving all Australians a 15% cut to their marginal income tax for their super contributions.

Low-income earners would get a rebate and high income earners would get a smaller benefit than they currently get.

Under the existing 15% tax rate on contributions, those earning more than $180,000 a year effectively get a 30 cents in the dollar boost, as their income is taxed at 45%, while low-income earners lose out.

While Mr Morrison did not outline specific changes, he said he knew "very well already" that people could have their "work patterns disrupted", with an effect on their super savings at retirement.

A series of studies have previously shown women, who often take time out from work to have and raise children, end up with less in their super accounts than men.

Mr Morrison said such people were often "behind the curve" in trying to build up their super savings - an issue he wanted to address.

He also said changes in work flexibility and practices in the past 25 years had left the country with a "rigid" superannuation system that needed to "reflect those changes in people's lives".

"There are many different pathways to get to where we want them to get to which is independence in retirement and the system at the moment can be quite rigid," he said.

Any changes were expected to be considered as part of the wider tax white paper.