Rich richer and poor poorer unless super changes: Warner

AUSTRALIA'S richest workers will get richer and low income earners will get poorer thanks to cracks in the superannuation system.

A leading superannuation expert says the tax breaks system must change to benefit those who need it most.

Researchers say the country's power couples will score more than $5 million in government support when they retire but low income couples will pay an extra $75,000 in tax on their superannuation.

Rice Warner and Industry Super Australia taxation modelling based on 65 couples, reveals 1% of the country's high income pairings who stop working in 2055 will receive more than $5 million in government assistance over their lifetime through poorly targeted superannuation tax breaks.

The research also shows the system favours men - with 1% of the nation's highest earning males set to pocket $2.9 million each.

Industry Super Australia chief executive officer David Whiteley said Australia's richest working couples have more than $600,000 a year in retirement income - 10 times the retirement income of the lowest 10% of workers.

"Tax concessions should benefit those who need the assistance," Mr Whiteley said.

"The current superannuation tax breaks, perversely and unsustainably, do the opposite.

"Super tax breaks for top earners are outstripping assistance to middle and low income Australians, especially women, even when the age pension is included.

"This is at odds with the core objective of the retirement system.

"Disturbingly, the lowest earning 10% of couples will pay extra tax of about $75,000 on their super over their lifetime. " - APN NEWSDESK