Superannuation Alert - 1.4.15

Financial Services eBulletin - 1 April 2015

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

  • On 25 March 2015, the Supreme Court of Queensland held in Munro v Munro [2015] QSC 61 that a purported binding death benefit nomination under an SMSF trust deed was invalid. The case concerned a deceased member who had nominated the "Trustee of Deceased Estate" on a binding death benefit nomination form given to the trustee.

    The trust deed permitted the trustee to pay a benefit on the death of a member in accordance with a binding nomination only if the benefit was specified to be paid to one or more nominated dependants or the legal personal representative of the member (consistent with regulation 6.22 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (SIS Regulation)). It was noted that the definition of "legal personal representative" in section 10 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 relevantly means the executor of the will of a deceased person.

    In addition, it was noted that whilst colloquially the term "executor" may be used interchangeably with the term "trustee", the roles are legally distinct. Mullins J stated "an executor holds the property of a deceased for the purpose of carrying out the functions and duties of the administration of the estate, but upon the completion of those administration duties the assets then may be applied to the trusts under the will."

    His Honour found that the binding death benefit nomination did not comply with the trust deed or SIS Regulation 6.22, as the nomination was of neither the deceased executors or one or more of his dependants and therefore was not binding.
  • On 26 March 2015, APRA wrote a letter to all RSE licensees entitled 'Important superannuation reporting information'. The letter details a number of matters to assist RSE licensees submitting superannuation returns to APRA, including:

    • a reminder that quarterly reporting periods ending on or after 1 July 2015 will have a due date of 28 calendar days;
    • reporting obligations when an RSE winds up;
    • deferral of Reporting Standard SRS 534.0 Derivative Financial Instruments for the current year of income to allow for further consultation;
    • ad-hoc reporting requirements must be completed with a new submission of a return, not a resubmission of a previously submitted version of the return;
    • guidance on how to submit Reporting Standard SRF 520 Responsible Persons Information; and
    • links to various sections of the APRA website where further resources are provided.

  • On 30 March 2015, the Treasurer released a Tax Discussion Paper entitled 'Re:think' as part of the Tax White Paper process. The paper reiterates that the Government will consider the observations of the Murray Financial System Inquiry relating to "the differential earnings tax rate across the accumulation and retirement phases, as well as the targeting of superannuation tax concessions". The paper states that "the different rates of tax on earnings in the pre- and post-retirement phases add costs to the operation of the superannuation system". The Treasurer has proposed the following question for discussion: "How appropriate are the tax arrangements for superannuation in terms of their fairness and complexity? How could they be improved?". Submissions are due by 1 June 2015 and can be sent to the Tax White Paper Task Force.

Further information

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