Changes to Superannuation: March 2015

Changes to SuperannuationMarch has been an eventful month, with the start of the Tax White Paper process, release of the Intergenerational Report and the ‘thought bubble’ of allowing first home buyers to access their superannuation.

The Treasurer released the Tax Discussion Paper, the first step in a process which will result in a Tax White Paper. The discussion paper asked many questions around the tax system, including superannuation, but doesn’t suggest policy changes.

The 2015 Intergenerational Report was released, but quickly swamped by Treasurer Joe Hockey’s floating of the idea to let first home buyers access their superannuation.

Hockey also promised there would be no changes to superannuation in the next 6 months. Meanwhile Labor have said they support a clear and simple objective for superannuation.

Industry Super Australia (ISA), which represents industry super funds, started a campaign against banks offering inducements to employers who switch their default superannuation fund to a bank product. ISA first released research showing a significant number of employers had been approached by banks and offered inducements. ISA later in the month said they had received legal advice that the regulators could not impose penalties on banks unlawfully offering inducements.

The ATO released the 2015/16 superannuation caps.

Taking a broader view, March saw the scrapping of the Mature Age Worker Tax Offset, Scott Morrison proposed a three year review of age pension indexation and Labor launched a “don’t pocket out pension” campaign.

Parliament has risen and next sits on the 12th of May for the Federal Budget.

Passed changes to superannuation

Refunding excess non-concessional contributions

The Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 7) Bill 2014, which included changes allowing for the refunding of excess non-concessional contributions passed the parliament and received assent.

Pending changes to superannuation

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.

Small business superannuation clearing house and super choice forms

The announced changes to the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House and Super Choice rules, applying from 1 July 2015, have yet to be implemented.

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:

Previous: Changes to Superannuation: February 2015 / Next: Changes to Superannuation: April 2015

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