The Morrison government will use Tuesday’s budget to allow 65 and 66 year olds to make voluntary superannuation contributions without meeting the current work test.
The proposal, to take effect from 2020-21, is part of the government’s efforts to court older voters ahead of the looming federal election, and potentially benefits 55,000 people.
The same cohort will be permitted to make three years’ worth of non-concessional contributions, which are currently capped at $100,000 a year, to their super accounts in one year. At the moment, only people under 65 can access those arrangements.
The government also intends to increase the age limit for spousal contributions from 69, where it is currently, to 74. At the moment, people aged over 70 can’t receive contributions made by someone else on their behalf.
The Morrison government is hoping Tuesday night’s budget – which will contain tax cuts, cash payments and a significant infrastructure spend – will revive its political fortunes ahead of the election, which is widely tipped to be called this weekend.
The prime minister told reporters on Monday the budget would deliver the first surplus in 12 years. Morrison declared the Coalition had “been most successful of any government in 50 years in keeping expenditure under control”.
He said the government would deliver a sound economic statement because expenditure was restrained, people were getting off welfare on to work, and the government had supported growth in the economy.
The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, said the super changes would help Australians boost their retirement savings by giving them greater flexibility as they neared retirement.
Frydenberg has done nothing to hose down expectations of tax cuts for low- and middle-income earners, which would come on top of $285m in one-off payments to pensioners and other welfare recipients, except those on Newstart.