The appointment of Kelly O’Dwyer as Minister for Revenue and Financial Services has been welcomed by the superannuation industry.
Ms O’Dwyer was formerly the Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer. The small business portfolio has been given to Nationals party member Michael McCormack and moved out of cabinet. The role of Assistant Treasurer has been renamed as Minister for Revenue and Financial Services.
“Kelly O’Dwyer, currently the Assistant Treasurer will hold the title for Revenue and Financial Services, which better describes her full role and responsibilities than does the title – albeit a very ancient and honoured title – of Assistant Treasurer. Her role is better described by that more accurate and I think contemporary ministerial title,” said the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
The PM was asked if this change was made to allow Minister O’Dwyer to concentrate on superannuation.
“Kelly has an enormous responsibility in those areas that she’s currently dealing with as Assistant Treasurer, better described, I think – I think it’s clear – as Minister for Revenue and Financial Services. The Small Business portfolio was also very important and as part of the rearrangement of portfolios consequent on the change of numbers, Michael McCormack’s been elevated to the outer Ministry and he’s holding that position,” answered the PM.
SMSF Association CEO Andrea Slattery said the reappointment of Kelly O’Dywer, along with Scott Morrison as Treasurer, will bring “much-needed stability” to superannuation and financial services.
“The Association has an excellent working relationship with Treasurer Scott Morrison and Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer, and we are confident they will listen closely to what we have say on the changes that were mooted in the last Budget.”
“We are on the public record as saying we believed the reduction in the concessional contribution caps were detrimental to the goal of encouraging people to be self-sufficient in retirement, and that the move to limit non-concessional contributions to a $500,000 lifetime cap from Budget night disrupted people’s retirement planning, but have been heartened by suggestions that the Government is prepared to sit down and discuss these proposals.”
“We are certainly look forwarding to continue working with the Government to find ways to either change or ameliorate the impact of these changes on people’s retirement income strategies.”
Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees CEO Tom Garcia said that AIST is looking forward to continuing its strong relationship with Minister O’Dwyer on issues of superannuation and retirement.
“The 45th Parliament is occurring at a critical time for superannuation, with the Government having proposed a raft of legislative changes affecting super fund members and confidence in the system.”
“We look forward to engaging constructively with Ms O’Dwyer to ensure the super changes are both workable and well-communicated to the public.”
He also said that AIST, and its membership of not-for-profit super funds, were “generally supportive” of the superannuation policies contained in the 2016 Budget.
“The Government’s recognition of the need to support low income earners in saving for retirement is very welcome as are measures to better target super tax concessions, however the industry has some concerns about complexity and implementation.”
AIST is also looking to work with the Government as it sets out a legislated objective for superannuation.
“The move to enshrine super’s objective in legislation is much needed but more work is required to ensure this objective provides clarity – rather than more confusion – on the purpose of super and its role with the Age Pension,” Mr Garcia said.