Asset roll over relief for mandatory transfers within a superannuation fund

On 22 June 2017, Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. 4) Bill 2017 was introduced into Parliament. The Bill provides asset roll over relief for mandatory transfers within a superannuation fund in the transition to a MySuper product.

The transferring entity can be a super fund, a life company, a PST or an interposed trust.

The rollover relief is available for transfers that occur between 29 June 2015 and 1 July 2017.

Super funds that are relying on the roll over provisions should evaluate whether the necessary conditions for roll-over have been satisfied.

Superannuation and retirement income stream products: Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. 1) Regulations 2017

The abovementioned Regulations were registered on 21 June 2017. The amended regulations change a number of superannuation regulations to enable the offering of new innovative retirement income stream products from 1 July 2017. In addition, the amendments expand the definition of capped defined benefit income stream to cover additional defined benefit pensions that permit commutation or are subject to other restrictions that fall outside the scope of sub-regulation 1.06(2) of the Superannuation Industry Supervisory Regulations 1994.

Housing affordability package – superannuation

The Government has released draft legislation and other materials in relation to its housing affordability package announced in the 2017-18 Federal Budget in respect of the following superannuation measures:

·       establishing the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS). The FHSSS will provide direct assistance to those individuals saving for a first home by allowing them to save in their superannuation accounts. First home savers will be able to voluntarily contribute up to AUD15,000 per year (and a total of AUD 30,000), and be able to withdraw the contributions along with deemed earnings in order to help fund a deposit on their first home. Voluntary contributions made from 1 July 2017 will be eligible for withdrawal (provided all criteria are met) from 1 July 2018, and

·       allowing Australians aged over 65 years to make an exempt contribution to their superannuation after downsizing their family home which has been held for a minimum of ten years. The normal superannuation contribution caps and restrictions will not apply to this downsizer contribution at the time, but the AUD1.6 million transfer balance cap and Age Pension means test will continue to apply and it will count towards total superannuation balance tests in later years (refer to this fact sheet for further details).

Both measures are proposed to commence on 1 July 2018. Comments are due on the draft law by 4 August 2017.

For further information, refer to the joint media release from the Treasurer and the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer.

Review into the efficiency and competitiveness of the superannuation system

The Treasurer and the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services have released the terms of reference for the third and final stage of the Productivity Commission’s review of the superannuation system, which will assess the efficiency and competitiveness of the current system. The Government has asked the Commission to complete the review within 12 months, with a draft report to be provided to Government by the end of January 2018.

Competitiveness and efficiency of superannuation

The Productivity Commission has released an issues paper to assist in preparing submissions to its public inquiry on assessing the competitiveness and efficiency of superannuation. This inquiry is the third and final stage of the Commission’s review of the superannuation system, flowing from the Australian Government’s response to the 2014 Financial System Inquiry. Submissions to the inquiry can be made until Monday 21 August 2017.

ATO large super fund industry report

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released its large fund industry report, which summarises the collective outcomes from the 2015-16 risk differentiation framework and tailored diagnostic reports. It is designed to be used by super fund trustees, executives, administrators, and reporting and risk managers.

ATO guidance on tax changes to superannuation payments for working holiday makers

The ATO has released guidance in the form of frequently asked questions on the recent tax changes affecting the departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) tax rate for working holiday makers (WHMs). From 1 July 2017, a new tax rate of 65 per cent applies to DASP for working holiday makers if the payment includes amounts attributable to superannuation contributions made while a person held a subclass 417 (Working Holiday) visa, subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visa and/or an associated bridging visa.

AAT decision on excess non­concessional superannuation contributions

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in Moore and Commissioner of Taxation [2017] has held that there were no ‘special circumstances’ to allow for the exercise of the Commissioner’s discretion to disregard, or allocate to another financial year, excess non-concessional superannuation contributions.