Superannuation Alert 10.12.15
Financial Services eBulletin - 10 December 2015
The Lander & Rogers Superannuation Alert is a brief overview of new developments in the superannuation industry.
- On 3 December 2015, Treasury released an exposure draft of the Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Bill 2015. The exposure draft comes after the Assistant Treasurer's address to the Financial Services Council foreshadowing changes to the current financial adviser education and training framework. According to the accompanying Exposure Draft Explanatory Material, the proposed amendments aim to "raise education, training and ethical standards for financial advisers" as a result of "numerous cases of inappropriate financial advice". The Bill is expected to be considered by Parliament in early 2016. According to the related media release from Treasury, the closing date for submissions on the exposure draft is 4 January 2016.
- On 3 December 2015, Treasury also released an exposure draft of the Tax Laws Amendment (2016 Measures No. 1) Bill 2016. The draft Explanatory Material explains that the Bill "establishes a Remedial Power for the Commissioner of Taxation to allow for a more timely resolution of certain unforeseen or unintended outcomes in the taxation (including superannuation) laws." It is intended that the Remedial Power will be exercised to the extent that it would have a beneficial outcome for taxpayers, has a negligible revenue impact, and is a remedy of last resort. According to the related media release from Treasury, the closing date for submissions on the exposure draft are due by 15 January 2016.
- On 3 December 2015, the Australian Financial Review reported that the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Trustee Governance) Bill 2015, which was scheduled to be debated on 1 December 2015, would not receive enough support from key independent Senators. Instead, it was suggested that former RBA and Treasury secretary Bernie Fraser will lead a review and the development of a code of conduct by 30 April 2016, with the support of some industry groups.
- On 4 December 2015, ASIC released Consultation Paper 244 Remaking ASIC class orders on dealing in underlying investments. The consultation paper sets out ASIC's proposal to remake and consolidate three class orders which are set to expire on 1 April 2017. The class orders affected are:
- Class Order [CO 02/1161] Licensing relief (dealing) for public offer superannuation entities;
- Class Order [CO 02/1073] Financial Services Guide: Dealing in underlying investments by responsible entities; and
- Class Order [CO 02/1074] Financial Services Guide: Dealing in underlying investments by superannuation trustees.
According to the associated ASIC media release submissions close on 15 February 2016.
- On 30 November 2015, the AAT handed down its decision in Re Ward and Commissioner of Taxation  AATA 919. In Re Ward, the applicant appealed the decision of the Commissioner to refuse to exercise his discretion under section 292-465 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) to disregard or re-allocate excess non-concessional contributions, after the applicant received a $209,250 tax assessment for the 2010-11 year. The Tribunal ultimately held that the circumstances, which involved the applicant (who was a low income earner forced to retire early) exceeding the non-concessional contributions cap over 3 years by an amount of $450,000 without appreciating the adverse tax consequences, did not constitute "special circumstances" for the purposes of section 292-465 of the ITA97, and so upheld the Commissioner's decision to refuse to exercise his discretion.
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