Superannuation Alert - 27.9.12

Financial Services eBulletin - 27 September 2012

The Lander & Rogers Superannuation Alert is a brief overview of new developments in the superannuation industry and is in addition to our Superannuation Update, which analyses the main developments of interest in more detail.

  • On 17 September 2012, the ATO released Interpretative Decision 2012/75 "Superannuation guarantee: work done outside Australia" on section 27(1) of the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 (Cth). The ATO concluded that work undertaken at sea, for the purpose of the section, was work done outside of Australia.
  • On 18 September 2012, the Productivity Commission released a paper titled "Strengthening Trans-Tasman Economic Relations" which invites public comment. The paper proposes legislation that will "increase economic integration" between the Australian and New Zealand economies. One key part of the proposal is to introduce legislation which will facilitate "portability of retirement savings and superannuation" between Australia and New Zealand.
  • On 19 September 2012, the Federal Parliament introduced and read together the following Bills for the first time: Superannuation Auditor Registration Imposition Bill 2012 and Superannuation Laws Amendment (Capital Gains Tax Relief and Other Efficiency Measures) Bill 2012. Among other things, they propose to:
    • reinstate the temporary loss relief for merging APRA regulated superannuation funds;
    • make ASIC the registration body for approved SMSF auditors;
    • require that superannuation reports to the Commissioner of Taxation include a statement for all members who held an interest in the superannuation plan at any time during a reporting period; and
    • require the Commissioner of Taxation to establish a register of information about the electronic identity of certain superannuation funds as part of the SuperStream measures.
  • On 19 September 2012, the Federal Parliament introduced and read tranche 3 of the MySuper legislation, the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Further MySuper and Transparency Measures) Bill 2012 for the first time which proposes, among other things, to:
    • set out the fee rules which will apply to all APRA-regulated superannuation funds in addition to the specific fee rules for MySuper products;
    • restrict the personal advice that trustees of APRA-regulated superannuation funds can provide; and
    • require superannuation fund trustees to provide minimum levels of life and TPD insurance to members on an opt-out basis.
  • Also on 19 September 2012, APRA released a consultation paper on proposed reporting requirements for APRA-regulated superannuation funds. The main proposed changes to reporting requirements include:
    • information about each trustee, fund and MySuper Product;
    • information about returns for each MySuper product and investment options; and
    • collection of expanded information about investments.
  • On 21 September 2012, the ATO released Interpretative Decision 2012/79 on sub-regulation 7.04(3) of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (Cth). The issue was whether a trustee of a SMSF was prevented from accepting 3 parcels of shares in 3 different listed companies from a member as a personal contribution, on the basis that the combined value of the shares being transferred exceeded the member's non-concessional contributions cap for the year. The ATO concluded that "for the purposes of applying subregulation 7.04(3), the transfer of each individual parcel of shares is a contribution that satisfies the definition of 'fund-capped contributions'".
  • On 21 September 2012, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal handed down its decision in Sinclair and Commissioner of Taxation AATA 634. The Tribunal found that the Commissioner of Taxation was correct in deciding that a superannuation benefit should have been included in a taxpayer's assessable income under section 304-10 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. The case involved the illegal early release of the member's superannuation benefits.

Further information

All information on this site is of a general nature only and is not intended to be relied upon as, nor to be a substitute for, specific legal professional advice. No responsibility for the loss occasioned to any person acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material published can be accepted.