What are the Liberal’s superannuation policies heading into the 2019 Federal election?
No new or higher taxes on superannuation
The Liberals have promised no new or higher taxes on superannuation, echoing similar promises made by the Liberals in prior years.
Raising ‘Work Test’ age
Announced ahead of the 2019 Budget, the Liberals would increase the age at which the ‘Work Test’ applies. The Work Test restricts older people from making voluntary super contributions unless they have had 40 hours of gainful employment in 30 consecutive days. The Liberals would, from 1 July 2020, remove this requirement for people aged 65 or 66.
The Liberals had previously announced a full repeal of the work test.
Increase SMSF member cap from 4 to 6
In 2018 the Liberals announced a policy of increasing the maximum number of members an SMSF can have from 4 to 6.
This was included in legislation before Parliament, but was later removed by the government.
Increasing the SMSF member cap remains Liberal policy. Though it appears that 3 year audits for some SMSFs – which was announced at the same time – has been dropped.
Opposition to Labor’s superannuation policies
Part of the Liberals superannuation policies is the opposition to Labor’s super policies. This includes retaining refundable franking credits, SMSF borrowing through Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements (LRBAs), catch-up super contributions and expanded tax deductability for personal super contributions.
Policies from Budget 2019
There are a number of policies the government announced as part of the 2019/20 Budget. Presumably these remain Liberal policy, though most – other than work test change – are not listed in the Liberal policy documents.
- Extending non-concessional contribution bring-forward to ages 65 & 66
- Raising age limit for spouse contributions
- Streamlining ECPI
- SuperStream for rollovers for SMSFs delayed, rollover standard to be expanded
- Delayed start for Protecting Your Super insurance changes
- Extra funding for ATO to chase unpaid super
- Super fund merger tax relief to be made permanent
- Superannuation Consumer Advocate
- Funding for SCT to complete casework
- Choice for ADF Super members leaving forces
Policies from legislation
Several pieces of superannuation legislation lapsed with the calling of the election. From the Liberals policy document it’s unclear which of these measures remain policy:
- Expanding Super Choice – allowing more people to choose their super funds
- Giving employers who haven’t paid Super Guarantee for their employees a 12 month amnesty
- Closing the Salary Sacrifice ‘loophole’ – allowing employers to count Salary Sacrifice contributions against Super Guarantee obligations
- Allowing high-income workers with multiple employers to opt-out of Super Guarantee
- Minimum one-third independent directors and an independent director for large super funds
- Setting objectives for super in legislation
- Include LRBAs in Total Superannuation Balance in some circumstances
- Changes to Non-Arm’s Length Income (NALI) around expenses
This list will be updated throughout the 2019 election campaign. Last updated 26/04/2019.
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