The biggest superannuation news in April was the Labor Party announcement of their ‘final and only’ changes to superannuation – taxing pension phase income in super funds above $75,000 at 15% and lowering the Division 293 tax threshold to $250,000. This policy is very similar to the one announced, but not enacted, under the last government.
Treasurer Joe Hockey responded to the announcement by saying “well, Labor’s default position is always to increase taxes.” He went on to say that last time the policy was announced “Treasury said it was un-implementable in various ways.” Little work appears to have been done on the policy to avoid the administrative nightmare for super funds, professionals, bureaucrats and fund members if it was legislated.
In other superannuation news:
- The Prime Minister reiterated the promise of no ‘adverse or unexpected’ changes to superannuation.
- Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg indicated the Government will place restrictions on SMSF borrowing, rather than banning it as recommended by the Financial System Inquiry.
- Mr Frydenberg also said the Government is committed to improving transparency in the superannuation system and was also focussing on changes to super fund governance, and increasing competition.
- A court ruled that, under certain circumstances, a lender could recover money borrowed and contributed to an SMSF, following a bankruptcy.
- The ATO has been sending ‘your SMSF’s registration may be cancelled‘ letters, in some cases directly to SMSF trustees instead of Tax Agents.
- The ATO also appears to be preparing to send warning letters about Non-Arm’s Length Income to SMSFs
The Federal Budget for 2015/16 will be released on the 12th of May. For other possible changes in the budget, see budget 2015 rumours: superannuation & SMSFs.
Passed changes to superannuation
Parliament did not sit in April.
Pending changes to superannuation
Small business superannuation clearing house and super choice forms
Treasury has released a exposure draft of changes to the superannuation standard choice form requirements for employers, particularly relating to temporary resident employees and where super funds have merged.
The announced changes to the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House, meant to apply from 1 July 2015, are still pending.
Increasing lost superannuation threshold
The Government had intended the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Autumn No. 2) Bill to go before the Parliament in the Autumn session of Parliament, but it may now appear in the winter session. The bill increases the threshold for lost superannuation to be transferred to the ATO. The Government previously announced the intention to increase the threshold to $4,000 and later to $6,000.
Boosting Superannuation for Women
The Greens’ Sex Discrimination Amendment (Boosting Superannuation for Women) Bill 2014 would allow employers to pay women more in superannuation without contravening the anti-discrimination laws. It is before the House of Reps.
We also have the following pages for keeping track of changes to superannuation:
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