Superannuation Alert - 27.08.15

Financial Services eBulletin - 27 August 2015

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

  • On 19 August 2015, the Assistant Treasurer, the Honourable Josh Frydenberg, announced that the Government had, following consultation, agreed to make certain amendments to the previously announced draft legislation proposing changes to the governance arrangements for APRA-regulated superannuation funds (including the introduction of a requirement that all funds have a minimum of one third independent directors on their trustee board and an independent chair). The proposed amendments to the draft legislation announced include:
    • providing more detail on the definition of 'independent' in the law;

    • ensuring the new requirements and transition period both commence from Royal Assent so existing funds have a full three-year transition period;

    • clarifying that the independent chair can be included in the one-third independent directors; and

    • clarifying that the Bill overrides both governing rules and the constitution of a corporate trustee.
  • On 20 August 2015, the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendments (2015 Measures No 4) Bill 2015 was introduced to the House of Representatives. The explanatory memorandum explains that the Bill, in addition to making a variety of changes regarding taxation, proposes to amend the Superannuation (Unclaimed Money and Lost Members) Act 1999 (Cth) to increase the account threshold for lost members accounts to be transferred to the Commissioner of Taxation to $4,000 from 31 December 2015, and $6,000 from 31 December 2016. The current threshold amount for lost member accounts is $2,000.

  • On 20 August 2015, APRA in a media release noted the release of superannuation statistics for June 2015. The Quarterly Superannuation Performance report and Quarterly MySuper Statistics report provide a breakdown of the $2.0 trillion in superannuation assets as at 30 June 2015. The media release notes that total superannuation assets decreased '1.6 per cent over the quarter' and increased by '9.9 per cent from the June 2014 quarter.'

  • On 21 August 2015, Treasury announced the release of draft legislation intended to "simplify and reduce the harshness of the superannuation guarantee charge", with the changes to apply from 1 July 2016. According to the media release, the changes:
    • simplify the SG charge by aligning the earnings base for calculating the SG charge (currently total salary and wages) with earning base for calculating SG contributions (ordinary time earnings);

    • reduce the harshness of the SG charge by aligning the interest component on any SG shortfall with the period contributions are outstanding; and

    • remove the additional penalties under the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 and align them with the administrative penalties under the Tax Administration Act 1953.

Submissions on the draft legislation are due by 18 September 2015.

 

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