Ceasing refundable franking credits to cost 2.6 million APRA fund members

Labor’s policy to stop refunds of franking credits isn’t only of concern to SMSF members, with up to 2.6 million members of APRA-regulated super funds also to be impacted.

Research by the Financial Services Council (FSC) indicates that up to 2.6 million members of APRA-regulated super funds (both large funds and Small APRA Funds) could be affected by stopping refunds of excess franking credits.

The FSC has set this out in a submission to the Parliamentary inquiry into removing refunds of franking credits – which is holding public hearings this week. The submission does note that 2.6 million is an “upper limit” to the figure, due to duplicate accounts. Read more...

Refunding franking credits inquiry will allow “short public statements”

The parliamentary inquiry into refunding franking credits will allow short statements from the public in hearings held this week, in Sydney on Tuesday and Melbourne on Thursday.

The Inquiry into the implications of removing refundable franking credits was formed by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics at the request of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Labor Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said it was an “unprecedented step” for a minister to make a reference to a parliamentary committee solely on the subject of an opposition policy. Read more...

Government fails to get any of its superannuation legislation to a vote

The Government has failed to get a vote on any of its superannuation legislation this week.

Ahead of this week of Senate sittings the Government had put six of its superannuation Bills on the programme. By the start of the week the Government was talking about passing four of the Bills. On Wednesday Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert announced amendments to three Bills – amendments which were reportedly circulated to the cross-bench, but have yet to be publicly released. Only the Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Bill 2018 was put on the notice paper for Thursday, but it did not reach a vote. Read more...

Conviction for stealing superannuation leads to permanent financial services ban

ASIC announced that it has permanently banned Mr Craig James Wilson from providing financial services or engaging in credit activities. The move by the regulator comes after Mr Wilson was convicted in August of four counts of ‘stealing as a servant’ by the District Court of Western Australia.

ASIC said: “Between 25 October 2017 and 23 January 2018, four of Mr Wilson’s clients received payments into their bank accounts from their superannuation funds. Due to Mr Wilson’s planned actions, the clients received more than they had requested to be withdrawn. The clients then asked for funds to be returned. Mr Wilson provided his own personal bank details for the return of funds, totaling $101,800.” Read more...

12% Super Guarantee rate will “barely cut it”, says Paul Keating

Paul Keating says the 9.5% Superannuation Guarantee rate “won’t cut it” and the legislated 12% rate will “barely cut it”.

Speaking to 7.30, Keating said that when he introduced superannuation people retired “about” 65 and died around 85. But that now people were living into their late 80s and children today could expect to live to 100 or 105.

“The superannuation pool isn’t large enough to maintain the sort of standard of living we wish for them,” he said. Read more...

Government to move amendments to superannuation Bills in Senate

The Government will propose amendments to its own superannuation legislation, as it tries to get some of the measures through the Senate this week.

The Government planned to have the Senate debate as many as six of its superannuation Bills this week. Though none of the Bills came up for debate on Monday or Tuesday.

Related: Six superannuation Bills up for debate in Senate this week

Update (Thursday 12:45pm): There may be a vote today on the Protecting Your Superannuation Package Bill, though the Government’s amendments have yet to appear. It seems unlikely there will be votes on any other superannuation legislation. Read more...

Refunding franking credits inquiry to hold public hearings

The Parliamentary Inquiry into the implications of removing refundable franking credits is set to hold public hearings next week.

The inquiry will be holding public hearings in Sydney on 20 November and in Melbourne on 22 November. “The program for this hearing has not yet been released,” says the programs posted by the Inquiry.

The inquiry by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics was formed by the Coalition to inquire into Labor’s policy of stopping the refunding of franking credits for many taxpayers. Read more...

Theme of 2019 SMSF Association National Conference is ‘strength’

The theme of the 2019 SMSF Association National Conference is ‘strength’.

SMSF Association CEO John Maroney said the theme was highly appropriate given the financial services Royal Commission and superannuation reforms.

“At this critical time for our superannuation sector, we need to ‘strengthen’ our commitment to clients, to reliable, appropriate advice, technical standards, continuing education and ethical behaviour,” he said.

“Next year will again test our sector as the findings of the Royal Commission and the Productivity Commission report play out in the public arena, as well as the impact of the higher professional standards being required by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).” Read more...

Six superannuation Bills up for debate in Senate this week

The Government plans to debate six of its superannuation Bills in the Senate this week – almost all its super-related Bills before Parliament.

The Government’s superannuation agenda has not been a priority recently, with none of the five Bills having been debated since June – which is before the most recent change of PM and ministerial reshuffle.

The Draft Legislation Programme for the Senate for this week has Bills up for the debate on the following days, though the Programme is generally only a guide at best: Read more...

Seniors say Labor “must” drop franking credit policy

Advocacy group National Seniors says Labor “must” drop its policy of stopping refunds of franking credits to many taxpayers.

National Seniors says its members fear the policy will force them onto the Age Pension and penalise them for saving for retirement.

The group has made a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Implications of Removing Refundable Franking Credits, containing responses from members. The House of Representatives Inquiry was established by the Coalition.

“We are not opposed to fair and considered reform to the retirement income system,” says National Seniors, in its submission. Read more...