The superannuation industry is concerned over a lack of information amid rumours the Federal Government is planning to raid the system to pay for its policy commitments.

Julia Gillard has refused to rule out tax increases on super, saying only she wants a sustainable long-term superannuation system.

The Prime Minister has promised to pay for her most expensive election commitments in this year's budget: the Gonski school funding changes and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

But the money has to come from somewhere, and increasingly Ms Gillard is being questioned about her plans for superannuation.

On Monday, former minister Simon Crean dropped a big hint about the super plan, saying the Government should not be talking about taxing people's super to achieve a budget surplus.

Before Mr Crean was sacked from cabinet last week he was a member of the Government's inner circle - the Expenditure Review Committee - weighing up Labor's budget decisions.

Pauline Vamos from the Association of Superannuation Funds (ASFA) says the industry is getting jittery over "a number of red flags".

"We are concerned that the current government may make changes to the superannuation system that are about short-term revenue needs rather than long-term retirement incomes policy," she said.

"I think there has been a number of red flags. There's no doubt there is a conversation about every single budget line, but we need to remember that superannuation is owned by consumers."

Earlier on Wednesday, Ms Vamos released a statement arguing the Government currently saved $7 billion a year in age pension costs as a result of superannuation.

"Tax concessions are a necessary feature of superannuation as they grow the pool for people to self-fund their retirement, taking pressure off the age pension in the future," she said in the statement.

Caucus concern

There are those in the Labor caucus who have their own concerns.

Kevin Rudd supporter and former chief whip Joel Fitzgibbon promised to keep a low profile after last week's failed attempt to overthrow Ms Gillard.

But in an interview with Fairfax on Wednesday he called on the Prime Minister not to raid the super of low and middle-income earners in her quest to pay for other promises.

"I welcome any changes but only at the very, very high end," he said.

"For example coal miners in my electorate earning $120,000, $130,000, $140,000 a year are not wealthy - that's the sort of money you need these days with property prices, et cetera, as they are.

"In Sydney's west you can be on a $250,000 family income a year and you're still struggling - particularly given property prices.

"So I don't mind us looking at the very top end but I will not support changes that affect ordinary people like my coal miners living in Hunter."

Tax breaks

It appears the Government's super review is backed by Treasury chief Martin Parkinson, who has previously cautioned that existing tax concessions for superannuation favoured some at the expense of the majority.

A new analysis of superannuation payments commissioned by the activist group GetUp! shows that the wealthiest 10 per cent of Australians pocket a third of the tax breaks.

By 2015 they will get tax breaks worth $15 billion, the analysis found, while the poorest 10 per cent of the population will receive no tax concessions.

The Coalition is making the most of the grey areas in Labor's super policy.

"We understand that people's self reliance, people's responsibility needs to be encouraged not penalised, and the last thing we will be doing is raiding people's superannuation savings," Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said.

But he put a time limit on that assurance.

"I want to assure the hard-working people of Australia that their superannuation will be safe under a Coalition government. We will make no unexpected adverse changes to superannuation in our first term," he said.

Ms Gillard says Mr Abbott has "verified on more than one occasion" that he would cut superannuation offsets for low-income earners.

 

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