Histroy of Superannuation and the Old Age Pension

The Deakin government passed the Invalid and Old-Aged Pensions Act 1908 (Cth), however the Commonwealth old-age pension was means and asset tested. An individual who had an income of more than £52 per year or owned property valued at more than £310 became ineligible for the Commonwealth pension. The pension was set at

The Commonwealth aged pension initially provided £26 per annum to men and women over the age of 65 years. This figure was just under one quarter of the “basic wage” which was decided in 1907 by Justice Higgins.

New South Wales was the first state to introduce government old age pensions {Old-aged Pensions Act 1990 (NSW) } following the lead of Germany who had introduced old-age pensions in 1882 and New Zealand in 1898.

In 1910, around 34 percent of those over 65 were receiving the old-aged pension. The average life expectancy of an Australian was only 55.2 years for men and 55.8 years for women, which meant that not many people lived long enough to receive the pension. Today, the average life expectancy of Australian men is 77.6 years and 83.5 years for women.

Subsection  51(xxiii) of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act gives the Federal Government jurisdiction over “invalid and old-age pensions”, whilst Subsection (xx) gives jurisdiction over “financial corporations formed within the limits of the Commonwealth

Therefore if a Government Regulated Superannuation Fund has an “Authorised Purpose” of providing pensions then the Trustees can be natural person Trustees. However if the Fund only provides Lump Sum benefits then the Fund requires to have a corporate Trustee so that the Federal Government has jurisdiction over the fund.

 

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