The government says it will be launching a national pension scheme to cover more than 100 million people by the end of the decade.
Key points: Australia’s pension system is at risk of being wiped out unless the ALP and Greens agree on a reform to the system by April 2018.
The changes will give workers greater freedom over how they save and how much they earn.
“We are making the change in a way that’s sustainable, sustainable for our country and sustainable for Australians, and we need to have a discussion about what is the right balance,” Treasurer Scott Morrison said.
“If you’re looking for a model that works for your generation, then you might want to look at the New Zealand model.”
He said the change would give workers “greater freedom” over how their pension savings were spent.
The plan, dubbed the “Fair Share”, will be introduced in the coming months, and will be rolled out across all federal departments and agencies, including hospitals, schools and universities.
The pension system has been the focus of much debate in recent months.
Mr Morrison said the changes were not the government’s “first” attempt at overhauling the system, and would be implemented “in a more transparent and accountable manner”.
“I think this is a step in the right direction, and I think we’re making some important progress,” he said.
“But it’s not a silver bullet, it’s a first step.
We will be looking at ways of ensuring that we’re not wiping out the system.”
Mr Morrison also defended the government and Labor’s tax on multinational companies.
He said a tax on corporations and trusts would “give us an extra $100 billion a year”.
“We will not be reducing wages, we will not give tax breaks to multinationals, we won’t give them tax breaks,” he told reporters.
“But we’re going to be looking to have that revenue raised through other means.”
Labor says the tax would not be a “sudden” increase, and that the tax on businesses was part of the “corporate tax cuts” that the government is proposing.
But the tax has caused consternation among business groups and unions, who say it would not only hurt their ability to pay workers, but also the country’s ability to invest in research and development.
Labor’s own proposal to cut the corporate tax rate to 20 per cent would raise $150 billion a month over the next five years, the Coalition says.
Its proposed tax reform package would mean workers pay $1,000 less in taxes than they currently do, and the cost to the economy would be $2.3 trillion.
Under the Coalition’s proposal, employers would be given a tax cut of $1.5 trillion a year over a decade, as well as tax concessions on dividends and capital gains.
This would raise the total tax bill for the economy by $300 billion, according to the Treasury.
It would also mean more money for the federal government, with the amount it spends on wages and salaries rising by $2,500 over a 10-year period.
Labor has pledged to increase taxes on multinationals if elected to government. AAP/ABC