Australia’s superannuation industry believes the Morrison government is softening the ground to scrap a legislated rise in employer contributions due to begin next year.

The assistant minister for superannuation, Jane Hume, has stakeholders on edge after declaring she is “ambivalent” about raising the super guarantee from 9.5 per cent to 12 per cent over the next five years.

Industry Super Australia chairman Greg Combet, a former Labor minister and ACTU secretary, believes the government is laying the groundwork to dump the scheduled rises in employer contributions.

“It certainly looks that way and in these circumstances I think it’s best for the government to just really state its position rather than pussy-footing around,” he told ABC radio on Tuesday.

“If that’s where they’re going then they should really say so.”