Superannuation Alert - 9.4.15
Financial Services eBulletin - 9 April 2015
The Lander & Rogers Superannuation Alert is a brief overview of new developments in the superannuation industry.
- On 30 March 2015 the Treasury Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 1) Regulation 2015 was registered. The Regulation makes various technical amendments to taxation legislation. Of relevance to superannuation, it amends the Corporations Regulations 2001 in relation to periodic statements provided by superannuation funds. Whereas previously a superannuation fund was required to separately state the amount of government co-contribution and the amount of the Low Income Superannuation Contribution (LISC) received, regulation 7.9.20(2A) has now been amended to permit (rather than require) superannuation funds to separately state the amount of government co-contribution and LISC received during a reporting period. The Explanatory Statement notes that "[w]here a fund reports an aggregate amount on a periodic statement it should be accompanied by additional information to assist the member in understanding the nature of the contribution amount included on the periodic statement." The amendment came into operation on 31 March 2015.
- On 31 March 2015 ASIC launched the first stage of the new Financial Advisers Register. According to the associated ASIC media release the new register "meets the Australian Government's commitment to provide an industry-wide public register of financial advisers by the end of March 2015" and "contains details of persons employed or authorised - directly or indirectly - by Australian financial services licensees to provide personal financial advice to retail clients on investments, superannuation and life insurance." The medial release also notes that there are a small number of advisers who are not yet on the register, and that while appointments will continue to be accepted, advisers who are not on the register may potentially lose clients. The release also notes that late fee penalties will apply from September and that ASIC can take action under the ASIC Act in relation to deliberately misleading conduct.
- On 1 April 2015 the Government released an exposure draft of the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 4) Bill 2015: Choice of fund requirements. According to the Explanatory Memorandum to the draft Bill, the Bill "simplifies the choice of superannuation obligations for employers by amending the [Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992] to remove the requirements for employers to offer a choice of superannuation fund to temporary residents, or when superannuation funds merge." Treasury is inviting comments on the exposure draft until 15 April 2015.
- On 2 April 2015 APRA released a letter from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) with respect to the recently proposed APRA Reporting Standards for the statistical purposes of the ABS. According to the letter, its purpose is to "seek industry views on changes to new superannuation reporting requirements…[aimed] to address preliminary feedback from the industry in response to the consultation letter, draft reporting forms and instructions released by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and ABS on 27 January 2015." The changes to the proposed Reporting Standards are summarised in the letter. Consultation on superannuation data collection for the ABS is open for written submissions until 17 April 2015.
- On 2 April 2015 the ATO announced that, following the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 7) Act 2015 (Cth) receiving Royal Assent on 19 March 2015, it expects to start issuing elections to individuals with excess non-concessional contributions (ENCC) in 2013-14 "over the coming months". These elections will allow individuals to nominate how the ATO will treat their ENCC.
- On 7 April 2015 the Assistant Treasurer announced that Ms Helen Davis has been appointed as the full-time Chairperson of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.
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