Government calls for Senate to pass super bills as time runs out before election

The Government is calling on the Senate to pass two of its superannuation Bills, despite there being more than a month until Parliament sits and only a couple of Senate sitting days before a likely May election.

“With Industry Superannuation Funds (ISFs) set to overtake Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) as the largest sector in Australian superannuation, Australians need the Coalition Government’s Protecting Your Super Package (PYSP) and Member Outcomes No. 2 Legislation passed more than ever,” said Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert, seemingly referring to a report in the Australian Financial Review. It’s unclear why the proportion of superannuation in SMSFs would be relevant to measures primarily aimed at younger people and those with low balances.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Bill 2018 would limit fees on superannuation balances under $6,000 and make insurance for members under age 25 opt-in. The Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No. 2) Bill 2017 would expand super choice.

The Government has had difficulty in passing these Bills through the Senate, as with their other superannuation legislation. The Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No. 2 Bill was last debated in November 2017. The Protecting Your Superannuation Package Bill was last debated in June 2018. In November last year Robert announced the Government would move amendments to the opt-in insurance provisions of the Protecting Bill, but these have yet to be moved in Parliament or published publicly.

The 2019/20 Budget is scheduled for April 2, which has been taken as pointing to a May election. This would mean there was only 5 Senate sittings days in 2019 prior to the election – three in February and two in April are scheduled (excluding Senate Estimates).

“Millions of people will be better off under the Government’s superannuation reforms,” said Robert.

“These measures are vital to ensure Australians keep more of the money they earn.”

“Alternatively, Labor attack people trying to get ahead with their Retiree Tax which will impact 900,000 Australians, their changes to negative gearing and increasing Capital Gains Tax,” he said, referring to Labor’s policy to stop most refunds of franking credits.

“Labor are a risk to retirement incomes.”

Current status of superannuation legislation before Parliament

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