Labor accuses Government of “superannuation policy by PowerPoint”

superannuation policy, budget 2016, government, coalition, ALP, labor party, powerpointLabor has criticised Treasurer Scott Morrison, after he reportedly distributed a briefing paper to Coalition MPs advocating for the superannuation changes announced in the 2016 Budget.

Update: the Government has released the first tranche of superannuation legislation for the changes announced in the 2016 Budget.

“Treasurer Scott Morrison’s humiliation at the hands of his backbench has deepened today, with news he has resorted to shopping around a PowerPoint presentation to convince the Liberal party room to support his superannuation plans, four months after they were published in the Budget,” said ALP Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services, Senator Katy Gallagher. Read more...

Budget superannuation changes a ‘slippery slope’, says Coalition Senator

Budget 2016 superannuation changes, $500,000 lifetime non-concessional contributions cap, Senator Abetz, slippery slope, cross floorLiberal Senator for Tasmania Eric Abetz says the superannuation changes included in the 2016 Budget represent a slippery slope leading to the Government increasing taxes on more superannuants in the future.

Michelle Grattan, from The Conversation, asked the Senator why he had taken such a strong stand on superannuation, given Tasmania would have fewer people affected by the changes.

Senator Abetz responded: “Can I tell you, in Tasmania, yes it is an issue. Does it affect as many people directly, no. But one of those issues that hasn’t been considered in this total discussion is if these changes are only going to affect 4% of superannuants, and that is how it has been sold, well next time the Government wants some more money, will it move to 5% or 10% of the superannuant population?” Read more...

Budget superannuation package been “very well received”: PM

2016 Budget superannuation package been "very well received" says Prime MinisterThe Prime Minister says the superannuation package announced in the 2016 Budget has been “very well received”, ahead of it being debated in the Coalition party room.

“Our super package has been very well received,” the PM said in an interview on ABC’s Insiders.

“It’s about a $6 billion package. The only area of controversy relates to the $500,000 non-concessional lifetime cap, which is around $500 million of the $6 billion. So the vast bulk of it is broadly accepted, and we have won the arguments on that, in a very complex area.” Read more...

Labor wrong to oppose abolishing 10% rule and work test

Federal Budget 2016/17, Budget 2016, superannuation, Labor oppose removing work test and 10% ruleOpinion – Labor has managed to snatch a superannuation policy defeat from the jaws of victory with the announcement that they will oppose removing the 10% rule and the work test.

The superannuation industry has long campaigned for the removal of these complicating and confusing restrictions. Labor says Australia “cannot afford” these changes, which are estimated to cost the Budget $1.13 billion over the forward estimates.

Why should the ability to claim a tax deduction for super contributions be confined to those who only earn a small fraction, or less, of their income from employment – as the 10% rule does? Though employees may be able to make salary sacrifice contributions this requires the support of the employer and can have Super Guarantee implications. Read more...

A super test for Australia’s political system

The Conversation, superannuation, Budget 2016, Budget 2016/17, LaborIn the past week, both major parties have made welcome, albeit tentative, commitments to tackle much-needed budget repair. The Turnbull government has moved quickly to lock in budget savings that Labor supported in the federal election campaign. Now Labor has signalled its support for the bulk of the government’s proposed changes to superannuation tax breaks, while proposing some extra budgetary savings of its own.

The ALP has endorsed the main elements of the government’s package of reforms to super tax breaks. It has accepted the government’s moves to tighten the annual cap on pre-tax super contributions to A$25,000 a year, and to put a A$1.6-million cap on tax-free super earnings in retirement. Read more...

Labor position on 2016 Budget super changes a “cause for concern”

Labor Budget 2016 superannuation policy changes, Andrea Slattery, CEO, SMSF AssociationThe SMSF Association says that Labor’s opposition to superannuation changes in the 2016 Budget which will increase flexibility and reduce complexity and red tape is concerning.

Labor has announced that it will oppose removing the ‘work test’, the ‘10% rule’ and allowing the introduction of ‘catch-up’ concessional contributions.

“The SMSF Association believes the Labor Party’s suggested policy to oppose these Budget measures is a shift in the wrong direction for our superannuation system,” said Association CEO Andrea Slattery. Read more...

Labor to oppose Budget super spending, wants prospective lifetime cap

Labor to oppose Budget 2016 super spending, tax deductions, work test, catch-up contributions, wants prospective lifetime non-concessional contributions capThe Labor party has announced that it will oppose several of the superannuation spending commitments from the 2016 Budget and wants the Div 293 threshold lowered to pay for a prospective lifetime non-concessional contributions cap.

Labor has said it will support the Low Income Superannuation Taxation Offset (which replaces the LISC) while opposing broadening access to tax deductions for personal super contributions through repealing the ‘10% rule’, removing the ‘work test’ and allowing ‘catch-up’ concessional contributions. Read more...

Divorce likely to be an exemption from lifetime non-concessional cap

Budget 2016, $500,000 lifetime non-concessional contributions cap, Treasurer Scott Morrison, ParliamentTreasurer Scott Morrison has indicated that divorce is likely to be a ‘life event’ eligible for an exemption from the $500,000 lifetime non-concessional contribution cap, while rejecting reports that lottery winnings and inheritances would receive the same treatment.

“We said before the election, well before the election actually that one of those events was a settlement that might have come from compensation claim or something of that nature. Other issues in relation to family court matters and things like that, the details of that are being worked through,” said the Treasurer in an interview on Sky News. Read more...

“Some prospect” of deal on Budget super changes, says Jim Chalmers

Federal Budget 2016/17, Budget 2016, superannuation changes, Government, Opposition, deal, $500,000 lifetime non-concessional contributions capThe Government and the Labor party may come to an agreement on the superannuation changes announced in the 2016 Budget.

Speaking about the superannuation changes with The Guardian, Shadow Minister for Finance, Jim Chalmers, said: “There is some prospect of agreement with the Government”.

‘We’ve flagged what we’re concerned about, which is really the retrospective elements of the package.”

The ALP have been critical some of the 2016 Budget superannuation measures, in particular the lifetime $500,000 non-concessional contributions cap – which, if enacted as announced, would count contributions since 1 July 2007 and could apply penalties for excess contributions made after 7.30pm on the 3rd of May 2016. Read more...

Treasurer flags more changes to lifetime non-concessional contribution cap

Federal Budget 2016/17, $500,000 lifetime non-concessional contributions capTreasurer Scott Morrison has flagged further changes to the $500,000 lifetime non-concessional contributions cap policy announced in the 2016 Budget.

The Treasurer has already set out some exclusions from the lifetime cap. In a radio interview on 2GB he said there would be more included in the draft legislation to be released shortly.

“I have already outlined what some of those changes were even during the election campaign. So, one of them, if you get a pay-out as a result of an accident or something like that then that is exempted from the $500,000 cap. If you have entered into a contract before Budget night to settle on a property asset out of your self-managed super fund and you are using after tax contributions to settle that contract – well, that won’t be included. There are other measures that will be in the exposure draft legislation and that will be coming out shortly,” Mr Morrison told Ray Hadley. Read more...