Financial Services eBulletin - 18 November 2016

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

  • On 10 November 2016, ASIC issued Consultation Paper 271 Remaking and repealing ASIC class orders on internet offers, hawking and PDS obligations. ASIC is seeking feedback in relation to PDS obligations on its proposal to repeal Class Order [CO 02/286] Obligations to provide a PDS: s 1012B(4). ASIC says that it is 'unaware of any continuing instruments that rely on the relief provided by [CO 02/286]' and is therefore of the view that the legislative instrument should be repealed.
  • On 11 November 2016, the ATO issued an overview of its "proposed public advice and guidance", which will be a series of publications released by the ATO to "complement the Superannuation Reform Bills recently introduced into Parliament". The proposed Law Companion Guidelines cover topics including:
    • the $1.6m Transfer Balance Cap, which "explains how to transfer debits and credits in transfer balance account[s]" in order to determine whether a transfer balance cap has been exceeded;
    • Transitional CGT Relief, which covers the CGT relief available for "qualifying complying superannuation funds", in instances in which "a member has transferred amounts to accumulation phase prior to 1 July 2017 to comply with the transfer balance cap, or as a result of the changes made to tax treatment of Transition to Retirement Income Streams"; and
    • Defined Benefit Interests, which "explains how the defined benefit income cap applies and the consequent income tax changes to defined benefit income".

The ATO aims to finalise these products shortly after the Bills receive Royal Assent.

  • The Senate Economics Reference Committee's Inquiry into the Scrutiny of Financial Advice has been given a new reporting date of 30 June 2017. The Inquiry was initiated in September 2014, however several extensions have been granted since its introduction. The Inquiry was reintroduced on 11 October 2016 after lapsing at the end of the 44th Parliament. The Committee is examining the implications of financial advice reforms, with reference to numerous issues including, but not limited to, the current level of consumer protections, the role of, and oversight by, regulatory agencies in preventing the provision of unethical and misleading financial advice and regulatory or legislative reforms that would prevent misconduct.
  • The Senate Economics Legislation Committee has released a report following its inquiry into the working holiday maker reform package. The Committee makes a number of recommendations, including:
    • once the reforms have been in place for a "suitable period of time" the government should "conduct a review of taxation and other policy settings in relation to working holiday makers", including making an assessment of "the impact of the changes in the reform package";
    • the ATO should "consult widely with industry stakeholders, including employers of working holiday makers, in developing the proposed employer register and designing the registration process" in order to ensure that "any regulatory burden is minimised"; and
    • passing the Passenger Movement Charge Amendment Bill 2016 (Cth), which would increase the rate of the charge for departing Australia from $55 to $60.