The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has slammed the idea of using superannuation to help first-home buyers get into the housing market as elements in the Federal government, including apparently Treasurer Scott Morrison, push the idea.
AIST CEO, Eva Scheerlinck, warned that such a move would simply drive prices higher while cutting retirement balances for younger people into the future.
“Tapping into super is completely counter to the Government’s own objective for super,” she said. “The purpose of super is to enhance people’s capacity to support themselves in retirement, not to throw money at the housing crisis and further drive up prices.”
“Australia’s deteriorating housing affordability is a complex problem that requires a credible policy framework rather than short-term, flawed thinking, which could actually make the problem worse,” Scheerlinck said.
Ms Scheerlinck said the government needed to consider a range of options to improve housing outcomes, including measures to facilitate investment by superannuation funds into the social housing market.
“AIST is encouraged that the Government recognises the need for more social housing, however it also needs to recognise that such investments need to have appropriate levels of government support for them to be viable,” Scheerlinck said.
Industry Super Australia (ISA) also supported superannuation fund investment in social housing but dismissed outright suggestions that super could be used by first home-buyers to finance their homes.