I find it most interesting to watch changes happening elsewhere in the world - particularly in the UK and NZ.
The UK has a financial year that commences on 6th April - so they are in the midst of
major changes. In 1752 Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar. There were mobs in the streets claiming they had been robbed of 11 days of their lives. In such a climate, rather than have a
shortened tax year, the following tax year was moved to 6th April where it has now remained for over 250 years!
From April 2011, UK pensioners will no longer have to buy annuities, and more flexibility has been introduced. It is interesting that there is a move to promote annuities in Australia at the very time the UK is moving in the opposite direction.
The UK is starting to follow the SG system which they call "auto enrolment". From
1st October, 2012 employers will have to enrol eligible workers into a qualifying workplace arrangement and make a 3% contribution, 4% from the employee and 1% paid as tax relief. There is a phase-in period for various sized employers until October 2017.
The really radical move is to increase the basic state pension to £140 p.w. and remove the means test. The coalition government says removing means testing and paying all pensioners a flat rate will reduce the bureaucratic overhead and the "indignity" of the current system. Now that is a change we could follow in Australia!! The anticipated introduction is 2015.
The NetActuary Team