Jail for Super Guarantee non-compliance still Government policy

Increasing penalties for Super Guarantee non-compliance appears to still be Government policy, after the recent leadership spill.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 4) Bill 2018 is listed in the Draft Legislation Programme for the Senate, released by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, for debate on Wednesday.

What superannuation measures will remain Government policy has been unclear since the leadership spill and ministerial reshuffle. The Government has reportedly shelved the policy of requiring at least one-third independent directors, and last week dropped the plan to increase the age pension age. Read more...

It’s unclear which Minister is responsible for superannuation

It is unclear which Treasury Minister is responsible for superannuation, and broader financial services, after the recent reshuffle following from the leadership spill.

Superannuation policy had largely been the province of Kelly O’Dwyer, in her role as Minister of Revenue and Financial Services. No one was given this title in the reshuffle, instead Stuart Robert becomes Assistant Treasurer. But it is not yet clear who will be responsible for the superannuation sector, which has a number of ongoing issues. Read more...

Parliament to inquire into why super funds not investing in agriculture

A Parliamentary committee is inquiring into barriers to superannuation funds investing in agriculture.

Last week the Treasurer asked the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources to inquire into the issue.

MP Rick Wilson, the Chair of the Committee, said Australian agriculture is in danger of being left behind due to a lack of investment

“The agricultural sector in Australia needs much more investment if it wants to remain competitive, and the superannuation industry is an obvious source of that. With this inquiry, the Committee hopes to find out how investment can be encouraged,” he said. Read more...

Put super legislation on hold until citizenship issue resolved: ACTU

The Australian Council of Trade Unions is calling for superannuation legislation to be put on hold until questions over who is eligible to sit in Parliament is resolved.

The Senate is set to debate today most of the Government’s superannuation Bills, including ones to change the governance arrangements of large super funds – which has been strongly criticised by Industry Super Australia – and to expand choice of fund to more employees, which the ACTU says will make it easier for employers to “steal” super. Read more...

First Home Super Saver Scheme Bill may not go to Parliament until 2018

Bills to enact the First Home Super Saver Scheme, along with the Government’s other superannuation policies, may not be introduced to Parliament until 2018.

Update: the Bill for the First Home Super Saver Scheme Bill has been introduced to Parliament.

A list of the Bills the Government intends to introduce to the Parliament in the last sitting of 2017 does not include Bills for the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS), downsizer contributions, improved accountability measures for super funds or closing a Super Guarantee loophole. Read more...

O’Dwyer may face preselection challenge over superannuation policies

Kelly O’Dwyer, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, may face a preselection challenge as retribution for the Coalition’s superannuation policy.

Peta Credlin, formerly chief of staff to Tony Abbott when he was Prime Minister, is reportedly being encouraged to challenge O’Dwyer for the seat of Higgins. This is apparently motivated, at least in part, by the superannuation policies from the 2016 Budget which were legislated late last year.

Credlin labelled reports she had been approached to challenge Minister O’Dwyer as “ridiculous”. Though she was critical of how the superannuation policies were handled. Read more...

Little movement on Government’s superannuation agenda so far in 2017

There has been little movement on the Government’s legislative superannuation agenda in the Autumn sitting of the Parliament.

The Government has a number of superannuation policies which have yet to be legislated, but these were not given priority in the first Parliamentary sittings of 2017.

The Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2016 is currently before the Senate, but was last debated on 23 November 2016. A Senate inquiry into the Bill gave its report on February 14.

The Government also still has policies to change the governance arrangements of large superannuation fund and to expand super choice to more employees, however these Bills are not before the Parliament. The Bills were previously introduced and debated, but lapsed when Parliament was prorogued ahead of the double dissolution election and will need to be reintroduced. Read more...

Super fund governance & choice of fund Bills not listed for reintroduction

The Federal Parliament sits today for the first time in 2017, with the start of the Autumn sittings. Though it may not be until later in the year that some of the proposed changes to superannuation are debated.

According to the House Notice Paper the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2016 Measures No. 2) Bill 2016 – which gives the ATO Commissioner the power to modify the operation of tax and superannuation legislation – may be debated as soon as today.

The Senate Notice Paper shows that the Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2016 is scheduled for debate on the 14th of February, the same day a Senate committee is due to give its report into the Bill. Read more...

Parliament should press pause on superannuation legislation: SMSFOA

The SMSF Owners’ Alliance is calling on the Parliament to “pause” and give further consideration to proposed superannuation legislation.

“The national Parliament is about to consider sweeping changes to superannuation that will affect many Australians,” said the SMSFOA.

The consultation period for all three tranches of draft superannuation legislation from the 2016 Budget has now closed. The SMSFOA expects that this legislation may be introduced to the Parliament as early as next week.

“The Government is aiming to have the legislation passed by the end of this year.” 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...