Bills to enact the First Home Super Saver Scheme, along with the Government’s other superannuation policies, may not be introduced to Parliament until 2018.
A list of the Bills the Government intends to introduce to the Parliament in the last sitting of 2017 does not include Bills for the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS), downsizer contributions, improved accountability measures for super funds or closing a Super Guarantee loophole.
The only superannuation-related Bill listed in the Legislation Proposed for Introduction in the 2017 Spring Sittings is the Public Sector (Superannuation) Laws Amendment Bill, which makes “miscellaneous reforms to the superannuation arrangements for Commonwealth employees, judges and parliamentarians”. The spring sitting of Parliament is the last sitting of the calendar year, running from August 8 to December 7.
The FHSSS is meant to apply to contributions from 1 July 2017, with withdrawals allowed from 1 July 2018, though there is doubt as to whether the measure will pass.
The Government recently announced that it would legislate to close a loophole allowing employers to claim Salary Sacrifice contributions against their Superannuation Guarantee obligations. Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer said that the Government would introduce such a Bill this year.
Minister O’Dwyer also recently announced a package of changes aimed at giving consumers more power in the superannuation system.
Though legislation not being listed does not preclude its introduction, the Legislation Proposed for Introduction documents have been indicative of the Government’s priorities. For some time the Government has had policies to change the governance of large super funds, expand super choice and increase transparency by super funds. These measures were included in Bills before the Parliament, but lapsed ahead of the last Federal Election. Despite still seemingly being Government policy, the Bills have yet to be listed for reintroduction:
- Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Choice of Fund) Bill 2016
- Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Trustee Governance) Bill 2015
- Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Transparency Measures) Bill 2016