Superannuation Bills largely stalled in Senate ahead of winter break

With Parliament having risen for the long winter break many of the Government’s superannuation Bills remain stalled in the Senate, with some not even being debated yet in 2018

ASIC fee-for-service Bills

The Bills to change ASIC towards a fee-for-service model have passed the Parliament. In part the Bills will lead to increases in the fees for SMSF Auditors, in some cases substantial fees. The actual level of the fees will be set in regulation, which Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer said would be made “shortly”.

Protecting Your Superannuation package

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Bill 2018 caps some super fund fees, changes superannuation for some members to opt in and expands the inactive superannuation that can be collect by the ATO, which will get new powers to pay super it holds to the owner. The Bill has passed the House and been introduced to the Senate, but is subject to a Senate committee inquiry – with a reporting date of 20 August.

Super Choice / Salary Sacrifice ‘loophole’

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No. 2) Bill 2017 – which expands super choice and closes the Salary Sacrifice ‘loophole’ – remains stalled. There were indications it was going to be debated in the Senate, but this didn’t eventuate. It was last debated in November 2017.

Superannuation Guarantee

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Superannuation Measures No. 1) Bill 2018 – which creates a 12 month amnesty for Superannuation Guarantee underpayment, among other changes – and the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 4) Bill 2018 – which increases penalties for SG underpayment – remain in the Senate. Both Bills were introduced on the same day, but have only reached the second reading. Neither appear subject to a committee inquiry.

One-third independent directors for large super funds and other regulations

The Superannuation Laws Amendment (Strengthening Trustee Arrangements) Bill 2017 – which would require large superannuation funds to have at least one-third independent directors, among other changes – has yet to pass the Senate. As it was introduced to the upper house first it would then need to go to the House. It was last debated in December 2017.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No. 1) Bill 2017 includes changes to the regulations on large superannuation funds. It was introduced first to the Senate, where it has yet to pass. It was last debated in December 2017.

Objectives of Superannuation

The Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2016, which would set in legislation objectives for the superannuation system and require other Bills to include a statement of how they comply with these objectives, is still before the Senate. It was last debated in November 2016.

Parliament is next due to sit on 13 August.

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