One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has thrown her support behind increasing the compulsory superannuation guarantee from the middle of 2021.
Her stance presents a challenge to a push within the Coalition government to defer or abandon the legislated 0.5 per cent rise.
Senator Hanson said the increase should be contingent on the superannuation system remaining fit for purpose.
She called on Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to clarify the purpose of the retirement funding framework.
“If the purpose of superannuation today is to increasingly fund caravan and land cruiser sales, it’s succeeding,” Senator Hanson said on Tuesday.
“But if the purpose of superannuation is to give workers of today a better, self-funded lifestyle in their twilight years without taking a taxpayer-funded pension, it’s failing.”
Senator Hanson said a growing number of Australians had forgotten what superannuation was for and were squandering their retirement savings, defeating the purpose of the scheme.
“While the money belongs to the employee, it wasn’t designed to be cashed out as a lump sum and blown, only to leave a person on a government pension for the rest of their lives,” she said.
“If we don’t re-clarify the purpose of superannuation now, we might as well just give these increases to people through their pay packets.”
The Morrison government is considering dumping its election commitment to lift the superannuation guarantee to 10 per cent next July.
Some Liberal backbenchers want to cap the guarantee at the current rate of 9.5 per cent.
Labor and the Greens support the increase, so the government will need to court support from the Senate crossbench to abandon its promise.
One Nation controls two Senate votes, so if Senator Hanson supports the increase, the government will need to win over all three other crossbenchers.
Independent Rex Patrick supports the increase, while Tasmanian Jacqui Lambie remains undecided.
South Australian Stirling Griff told the Australian Financial Review that while no final decision had been made, his initial view was to support a freeze rather than a cap, believing small businesses could not afford the increase.