Superannuation Alert 03.03.16

Financial Services eBulletin - 3 March 2016

The Lander & Rogers Superannuation Alert is a brief overview of new developments in the superannuation industry.

  • On 23 February 2016, ASIC issued ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2016/103, which amends ASIC Corporations (Facilitating Electronic Delivery of Financial Services Disclosure) Instrument 2015/647. According to the accompanying Explanatory Statement, the purpose of the amending instrument is to amend the principal instrument, which seeks to facilitate digital financial services disclosure by providing relief to enable product issuers to more easily deliver disclosure documents electronically, in three key respects:
    • first, to simplify the disclosure notification involved in the ‘publish and notify’ method of disclosure that the principal instrument creates where the provider does not intend to issue a disclosure within the first seven days;

    • second, to enable default superannuation fund trustees to use the 'publish and notify' method of disclosure, using an employer provided electronic address, in relation to disclosures under sections 1015C, 1017B, 1017D and 1017DA of the Corporations Act 2001; and

    • finally, to ensure that successor funds can use an employer provided email address that was provided to a predecessor fund.
  • On 23 February 2016, APRA released its Quarterly Superannuation Performance publication and the Quarterly MySuper Statistics report for the December 2015 quarter. These publications show that as at 31 December 2015, the total amount of superannuation assets was $2,045.9 billion, which is an increase of 6.1% from the December 2014 quarter. Of those assets, $449.1 billion were in MySuper products.

  • On 23 February 2016, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal handed down its decision in Brady and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2016] AATA 97. The case concerned a taxpayer who, in 2010 and 2011, had made personal non-concessional contributions to his super funds in excess of the statutory cap, thereby incurring a significant excess contributions tax liability. The taxpayer made an application to the Commissioner of Taxation pursuant to ss 292-465(1)(b) and (2) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 for a determination that all or part of his non-concessional contributions for the 2011 financial year be disregarded or allocated to another financial year so that he could be relieved of his liability for the excess contributions tax. However, the Commissioner declined to exercise this power on the basis that the taxpayer's circumstances did not constitute 'special circumstances'.

  • On 24 February 2016, the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee tabled its report on the Family Law Amendment (Financial Agreements and Other Measures) Bill 2015. According to the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill, the Bill would amend the financial agreement regime in the Family Law Act 1975 to, among other things, remove an 'unsplittable interest' from the circumstances in which a court may set aside a financial agreement, so that financial agreements cannot be set aside solely on the basis that it includes an 'unsplittable interest'. This makes the treatment of 'unsplittable interests' consistent across financial agreements and superannuation agreements, as superannuation agreements cannot be set aside on the basis that they contain an 'unsplittable interest'.

  • On 25 February 2016, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal handed down its decision in Payne and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2016] AATA 104. The case involved an application by an employer to set aside a decision of the Commissioner of Taxation in relation to the issuing of a Superannuation Guarantee Charge on the basis that the relevant superannuation contributions required under the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 (SGAA) had been paid directly to the employee in accordance with an agreement between the employer and employee. The Tribunal held that any private agreement between the employer and employee did not relieve the employer of his statutory obligation to make superannuation contributions to a complying superannuation fund under the SGAA. The Tribunal also held that there was no statutory power in the SGAA to remit either the interest component or the administration component of a Superannuation Guarantee Charge statement issued to an employer.

Further information

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