The Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Bill 2016 has passed the House of Representatives and is likely to pass the Senate with the support of Labor.
Update: The Parliament has passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Bill 2016 and Superannuation (Excess Transfer Balance Tax) Imposition Bill 2016, both without amendment.
The Fair and Sustainable Bill contains many of the Government’s proposed changes to superannuation, including reductions in the concessional and non-concessional contribution caps, the $1.6 million Transfer Balance Cap and the Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset (LISTO).
The Bill is scheduled for debate in the Senate on Wednesday, the same day a Senate committee inquiry into the Bill is due to give its report. Several of the submissions to this inquiry have said the changes are overly complex, while superannuation fund representative bodies have called for the Bill to be quickly passed to give their members time to update their systems for the changes.
The Labor party supports aspects of the Bill, but is calling for the annual non-concessional contributions cap to be lowered to $75,000 and the Division 293 tax threshold lowered from the proposed $250,000 to $200,000.
Though it is likely that Labor will support the Bill even without these amendments. In an interview on Radio National Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said: “We’ve always said we would pass the Government’s legislation because that is right for the ratings agencies. We have said it would be better if they accepted our amendments and our suggestions as to how they should raise more money and make the system fairer. But I’m not interested in giving Scott Morrison an opportunity to walk away from those superannuation reforms.”
“I won’t let the perfect be an enemy of the good, the package will pass but it could be passed in a more fiscally responsible way, the Government could add another $1.4 billion to the Budget over the next four years if they adopted Labor’s suggestions. They want to spend more money in superannuation at the same time as lecturing everybody about the triple-A credit rating, you know the superannuation policy for them has a been a rolling disaster but we are prepared to work across the aisle, we will pass the legislation, that’s the right thing to do but it could be better and we will go to the next election if they don’t accept our amendments, we will go to the next election with that policy.”
The Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2016 also passed the House, though it is unlikely to be debated in the Senate until 2017. It appears that Labor will not support the Government’s current proposed objective. Chris Bowen told the House: “The objective that the government announced is not bipartisan and has not been agreed with us and will not meet with our support.”
The Government also intends to reintroduce the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Trustee Governance) Bill, though the timetable is unclear.