Cbus welcomes action to attract super investment in affordable housing

10 May 2017

Establishing a National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation to attract institutional investment for affordable housing is a welcome and essential part of the Federal Budget.

David Atkin, Chief Executive Officer of Cbus, the industry super fund for the construction and building industry said the new financing structure should go a long way in attracting more private investment for affordable housing and ultimately help families in need.

“Cbus has been calling on the Government to set up a UK style financing model and we’re pleased to see it included in the Budget,” Mr Atkin said.

“If there’s an appropriate risk and return profile, Cbus stands ready to invest in affordable housing and we have the capacity to make meaningful investments in this space. “

Mr Atkin also welcomed measures that support coordination across Commonwealth and State and Territory jurisdictions as essential to successfully address housing affordability.

“Investors need certainty and we are hopeful of cooperation and collaboration that will get outcomes.

“Cbus prefers a model that creates new housing stock as we want to invest and our members want to build.

“We are a conscientious and patient provider of capital that proudly invests in our industry.

“Cbus members build our nation so there is a natural symmetry with their superannuation being invested into their industry to build a better future for Australia.” 

Mr Atkin said it was disappointing that the Government missed a key opportunity to take action on the billions of dollars of workers’ unpaid superannuation entitlements.

“With a Senate report out only last week making the massive and growing problem abundantly clear, the Government has missed an opportunity to address this pressing issue.”

One key area identified in the Senate Committee report was the need to close the loophole that allows employers to use workers’ salary sacrifice amounts to meet compulsory superannuation contribution obligations.

That means that money that individuals voluntarily contribute to their superannuation can be used by employers to meet their 9.5% compulsory obligation.

“We know that some employers currently use salary sacrificing arrangements to meet their superannuation obligations to workers. With this loophole still wide open the Government’s new Super Savers Scheme could prove to be a heartbreaking dud for many people hoping to save for their first home.”

Mr Atkin said Cbus would review the details of the new Super Savers Scheme to evaluate the impact on workers’ future retirement savings, administrative costs and complexity, and liquidity implications that could impact longer term investment strategies.