Government’s superannuation changes “not dead”, says Minister

Three of the Government’s superannuation Bills are “certainly not dead”, says Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer.

The Government delayed the Bills on Tuesday after it failed to get crossbench support for the governance, reporting and choice of fund changes. This pushes these key parts of the Government’s superannuation agenda into 2018.

Minister O’Dwyer said on ABC’s AM program that the changes weren’t dead. “The Government remains absolutely committed to making sure that members know exactly how their superannuation money is being spent.” Read more...

Government lacks votes on super changes, delays votes on Bills

The Government doesn’t have the votes to pass some key parts of its superannuation agenda through the Senate.

On Monday the Government delayed votes on three superannuation Bills – which included changes to super fund governance, MySuper reporting and choice of super fund.

Related: Government’s superannuation changes “not dead”, says Minister

On Thursday last week Senator George Brandis, Leader of the Government in the Senate, moved that the hours and routine of the Senate be changed to make these Bills the top priority. Labor attempted, and failed, to exclude three super Bills: Read more...

ASIC reportedly investigating MySuper transition fee gouge

ASIC is reportedly investigating if super funds gouged fees from members by only transitioning them to MySuper products at the last minute.

Default superannuation accounts were required to be transferred to MySuper products during a four year transition period, which ended 1 July 2017. In 2016 Industry Super Australia released a report accusing ‘bank-owned’ retail super funds of “gouging” up to $1.8 billion from super fund members by only slowly moving them to MySuper products. Read more...

Super changes would take control away from working people: ACTU

Changes to superannuation being debated in the Senate would take control away from working people and give more power to the banks, says the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

The Senate began debating some of the superannuation changes today, including the requirement for large super funds to have at least one-third independent directors – a change opposed by the ACTU and Industry Super Australia.

“The proposed changes would remove representatives of working people from super fund boards and subject industry super to more onerous regulations than the banking or financial sector have to comply with,” said the ACTU. Read more...

Government’s super Bills an “unprecedented ideological attack”

Industry Super Australia says the Government’s superannuation Bills, set for debate in the Senate today, are an “unprecedented ideological attack”.

Most of the Government’s superannuation agenda is scheduled for debate, including changes to super fund governance and reporting.

“The government has failed to present evidence that these Bills will improve the retirement incomes because there is none,” said Industry Super Australia (ISA).

“The Government’s claims to improve members’ outcomes in super might have some credibility if they were backed with evidence rather than embarking on an unprecedented ideological attack on the best performing part of the sector, industry super funds.” Read more...

All Government super Bills set for debate today, except objective of super

All the Government’s superannuation Bills are set for debate in the Senate today, except for the Bill setting the objective for super.

Update, Tuesday evening: The Senate didn’t debate the superannuation Bills today, only reaching the Treasury Laws Amendment (Housing Tax Integrity) Bill 2017 – the first Bill on the notice paperThe superannuation changes may be debated on Wednesday, but welfare reform is also scheduled for debate, and potentially same sex marriage.

Update, Tuesday morning: The superannuation bills are scheduled again for debate in the Senate on Tuesday. There was little movement on the Bills on Monday, with only time to introduce the Bills coming from the House of Representatives. It is unclear yet how the ongoing citizenship issue has impacted the likelihood of passage, given both Labor and the Greens oppose some of the measures. Read more...

Labor may yet support expansion of super fund choice

Labor will oppose the Government’s superannuation governance and reporting changes, but may yet support an expansion of super fund choice to more employees.

Labor says it will oppose two of the Government’s superannuation Bills, but may support a third if it is amended.

The House of Representatives on Monday passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No. 2) Bill 2017. The Bill would expand choice of super fund and close the Salary Sacrifice ‘loophole’, which allows employers to claim employees contributions against their SG obligations. Read more...

Liberal Party think tank attacks industry super fund spending

A Liberal Party think tank has attacked spending by industry super funds at the same time the Government is trying to change the governance and disclosure rules for super funds.

“Industry super funds have spent millions on a lavish advertising campaign designed to portray privately operated funds as the fox in the hen house,” said Mr Nick Cater, Executive Director of the Menzies Research Centre, referring to a campaign by Industry Super Australia.

The Centre has released a report which recommends mandating at least one-third independent directors and an independent chair for large super funds – echoing Government policy. Read more...

Bills restart battle between industry and retail super funds

Two fronts in the battle between industry and retail super funds have been revived by the introduction of Government Bills to the Parliament to change the governance and reporting requirements on super funds.

The Government has introduced two Bills to the Parliament to enact its super fund governance changes – including at least one-third independent directors – and ‘transparency and accountability’ policies.

Industry Super Australia (ISA) said the Government Bills risk dismantling the not-for-profit super fund sector, while giving retail funds a “leave pass” on transparency and disclosure. Read more...

Government puts super fund governance & accountability Bills to Senate first

The Government has introduced Bills to enact its super fund governance and accountability policies to the Senate, before the House of Representatives, restarting a battle between industry and retail super fund.

The Government introduced the Bills directly to the Senate, instead of to the House of Reps. Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, meanwhile introduced a Bill to the House to expand choice of super fund and close the Super Guarantee salary sacrifice loophole.

The Superannuation Laws Amendment (Strengthening Trustee Arrangements) Bill 2017, if passed, would require large superannuation funds to have at least one-third independent directors and an independent chair, with a three year transition period. Read more...