Government committed to no more major changes to taxation of super

The Government has “committed to making no further major changes to superannuation taxation” says Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert.

The Minister told the Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System summit that instead “the focus on any future change will be to simplify Super where ever possible or lessen any burden”.

“The Government is committed to the smooth, ongoing implementation of the superannuation taxation package, to ensure that it remains fair and effective,” said Robert.

The Government still intends to make a number of changes to super – some of which are before the Parliament, and some which the Assistant Treasurer announced at the summit. He announced three measures aimed at “minor but important issues that affect retirees”. Read more...

Direct payment of lost super to terminally ill Bill passes Parliament

People suffering from a terminal medical condition will have easier access to any lost superannuation they have, with the passage of a Bill through the Parliament – which also extends tax relief for merging super funds and moves some responsibility from DHS to the ATO.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 1) Bill 2018 has passed both houses of Parliament and awaits Royal Assent.

The, as yet, Bill enables the ATO to pay unclaimed superannuation directly to people with a terminal medical condition. Currently these amounts, in most cases, would first have to be transferred to a superannuation account. Read more...

Bill to allow direct payment of lost super to terminally ill introduced

The Government has introduced a Bill to allow the direct payment of lost super to the terminally ill, extend tax relief for merging super funds and shift responsibility for early release of super to the ATO.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 1) Bill 2018 includes new rules for withholding of GST on new property sales, along with a number of superannuation changes.

Update: The Bill has passed the House of Representatives, but the Senate is not sitting this week. The next Senate sitting is on March 19. Read more...

‘Job done’ on tax changes to super, no more planned: Minister

The job of changes to how superannuation is taxed is finished and the Government has no further plans, according to a senior minister.

Kelly O’Dwyer, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, told the Tax Institute National Superannuation Conference: “I am pleased to report today that the Coalition has done the job that we needed to do on the taxation of superannuation. That job has been finished and legislated. We have no further plans.”

Minister O’Dwyer was referring to the tax changes to super from the 2016 Budget, many of which took effect on 1 July 2017. Read more...

Over 3 million to benefit from Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset

Over three million people will benefit from the Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset, which starts from 1 July 2017, according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA).

The Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset (LISTO) provides a refund (it is not actually a tax offset) of contributions tax for low income earners, up to $500. It replaces the Low Income Superannuation Contribution (LISC), which did the same thing. The LISC was introduced under Labor and repealed by the Coalition, with effect from 30 June 2017. However in the 2016 Budget the Government decided to replace it with the LISTO. Read more...

ATO busts myths around 1 July 2017 superannuation changes

The ATO has busted five ‘myths’ around the superannuation changes applying from 1 July 2017.

ATO Deputy Commissioner for Superannuation, James O’Halloran, told a CPA conference that he wanted to “clarify some misconceptions” about the changes to super legislated late in 2016.

Myth 1: SMSFs have to report to the ATO on 1 July 2017

“There is a myth that SMSFs will have to report their member account balances to the ATO on 1 July 2017. This is not the case,” said Mr O’Halloran.

“The ATO does not require SMSFs to report their members account balances and values of any income streams on commencement of the super changes on 1 July 2017.” Read more...

Actuarial and commutation rules dropped from superannuation regulations

New rules for actuarial certificates and commuting some kinds of superannuation pensions due to the Transfer Balance Cap have been dropped from the final version of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Regulations 2017.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Regulations 2017 were registered on 27 March 2017, but without some of the proposed changes included in the draft regulations.

Treasury had released a draft version of the regulations for consultation. This draft included an exemption from being required to obtain an actuarial certificate for some funds, resulting from the changes in the Fair and Sustainable superannuation legislation. Read more...

Transfer Balance Cap of most concern to superannuation professionals

The $1.6 million Transfer Balance Cap is the issue most concerning superannuation professionals, a poll of Tax & Super Australia members has found.

29.1% of respondents to the poll said the Transfer Balance Cap was the issue of most concern.

“Many individuals are concerned with the way the appreciation of investments and investment losses are going to be reflected in this transfer balance cap,” said Tax & Super Australia.

“The short answer is that investment performance is not taken into account for the transfer balance cap. If a pension account grows due to an appreciation of investments, this is well and truly good for the pensioner. However the reverse is true in the case of investment losses – there is no way to replenish the limit imposed by the cap on the account of poorly performing investments.” Read more...

Superannuation changes in 2016

Superannuation changes in 2016 have been dominated by the range of measures announced in the 2016/17 Federal Budget – though several of these changes to superannuation have been modified or abandoned. Below is a list of many of the changes to superannuation in 2016 and their current status.

In brief, many of the Government’s changes to superannuation announced in the 2016 Budget, some of which have subsequently changed, have passed the Parliament: Fair and Sustainable superannuation package passes Parliament. Read more...