Jail for Super Guarantee non-compliance still Government policy

Increasing penalties for Super Guarantee non-compliance appears to still be Government policy, after the recent leadership spill.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 4) Bill 2018 is listed in the Draft Legislation Programme for the Senate, released by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, for debate on Wednesday.

What superannuation measures will remain Government policy has been unclear since the leadership spill and ministerial reshuffle. The Government has reportedly shelved the policy of requiring at least one-third independent directors, and last week dropped the plan to increase the age pension age.

The draft legislation programmes are at best a guide to what will happen in Parliament. The document warns that “this is an indicative programme and subject to change”. However more can be drawn from the inclusion of a superannuation Bill so soon after a change of PM and Ministers than from the Bills not included.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 4) Bill 2018, if passed, would allow the ATO to direct an employer to pay a Super Guarantee liability or face fines or imprisonment. The ATO would also have the power to direct an employer who has failed in one of their tax obligations to undertake an approved education course.

The Bill also extends Single Touch Payroll reporting to employers with fewer employees, among other measures.

A different Government Bill before the Parliament would create an amnesty for employers who have underpaid Super Guarantee.

Other superannuation Bills before Parliament include:

  • Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Bill 2018 – measures from the 2018/19 Budget around super fund fees, insurance and lost accounts
  • Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No. 1) Bill 2017 – MySuper reporting changes
  • Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No. 2) Bill 2017 – expand super choice to more employees and close the salary sacrifice ‘loophole’
  • Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2016 – sets objectives for the super system in legislation and requires other Bills to include a statement of compatibility with these objectives. Was last debated in late 2016.

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