Legislation for employer Super Guarantee amnesty expected “imminently”

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New legislation giving employers who haven’t paid Super Guarantee an amnesty can be expected “imminently”, says the Minister responsible.

Update: The Government has introduced legislation for the Super Guarantee amnesty – Treasury Laws Amendment (Recovering Unpaid Superannuation) Bill 2019.

Senator Jane Hume, Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, said it was still Government policy to give employers who haven’t paid Super Guarantee an amnesty.

Speaking as part of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) roadshow, Hume said the legislation could be expected “imminently”, according to a report in the Guardian.

“It is still our plan to go ahead with that superannuation guarantee amnesty, that will allow companies that have inadvertently not paid the correct amount of superannuation to come forward to the tax office.”

The previous drafting of the amnesty was not limited to inadvertent underpayment of Super Guarantee. It is unclear if this will be reflected in the new legislation.

Hume reiterated the argument that the measure will lead to the recovery of unpaid superannuation.

Last year the Government announced a 12 month amnesty – starting from the date of announcement – for employers who hadn’t paid the Super Guarantee for their workers. But the Government failed to pass the legislation before the 12 months was up, leading to confusion for employers and the ATO using its discretion to waive some penalties for those who had already come forward.

The Government went quiet over the policy around the election, and the policy was not included on the Liberal Party’s list of retirement and superannuation policies.

When the Government introduced a Bill with three unrelated measures that were originally in the amnesty Bill, but not the amnesty itself, speculation grew that the policy had been dropped.

However it emerged in July that a Super Guarantee amnesty was still Government policy, with comments by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Attorney General Christian Porter – who is also Minister for Industrial Relations and Leader of the House.

It is unclear yet if the amnesty would still have a 12 month period, or what the start date would be – if the Government can get the legislation through the new Senate.

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