The Lander & Rogers Superannuation Alert is a brief overview of new developments in the superannuation industry.
|Updates to Law Companion Guidelines||
On 20 December 2017, the ATO updated the following Law Companion Guidelines, by way of addendums, to reflect technical changes made by the Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. 2) Act 2017:
|Consultation paper regarding early release of super||
On 20 December 2017, Treasury released a consultation paper seeking industry feedback in relation to the principles which should be used to assess the early release of benefits from superannuation (Consultation Paper). The Treasury noted that the rules governing early release of superannuation benefits have not changed substantially since 1997. Four principles to guide the circumstances for early release have been identified – being “preservation”, “genuine hardship”, “last resort” and “fair and effective”. It seeks industry feedback in relation to these principles, as well as the following specific early release scenarios:
According to the Consultation Paper, in 2016/17 a significant portion of early release on compassionate grounds was for "medical treatment and transport (comprising around 72 per cent of funds approved for release), and mortgage payments (comprising around 18 per cent of total funds approved)".
The consultation period closes on 12 February 2018.
Report into Australia's dispute resolution and complaints
On 21 December 2017, Treasury released the Ramsay Review’s final report into Australia's dispute resolution and complaints framework titled "EDR Review Supplementary Final Report" (Report). The Report comes as a result of the Government’s expanded terms of reference for the Ramsay Review and makes “four recommendations on the establishment of a limited and carefully targeted Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR) to cover future unpaid compensation in parts of the financial services sector”. The Report notes that a CSLR is required as “there is evidence of a significant problem of compensation not being paid” in the financial services sector. The Report recommends that a CSLR should:
In an associated media release, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, announced that the Government would defer its consideration of and response to, the Report until after the Royal Commission has concluded. The Minister recognised that “the Royal Commission will examine many of the issues that have been considered as part of the [Report]”. However, this deferral will not impact the establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.
|Legislation||Exposure draft of new Bill released - Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Power||
On 21 December 2017, Treasury released an exposure draft of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Powers) Bill 2017 (Bill). According to the exposure draft Explanatory Memorandum, the Bill proposes to amend the Corporations Act 2001 to introduce:
Submissions to the exposure draft are due 9 February 2018.
|Legislation||Exposure draft of new Bill released - taxation integrity||Treasury website||On 11 January 2018, Kelly O'Dwyer MP, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, issued a media release announcing the release for public consultation of draft legislation and a consultation paper entitled ‘Superannuation Taxation Integrity Measures’.
The consultation package comprises:
According to the Minister's media release:
Submissions on the proposals may be made until 9 February 2018.
|Royal Commission||Inquiry into banking, superannuation and financial services industry||Royal Commission website||On 22 January 2018, it was announced in a media release that the Royal Commission into banking, superannuation and financial services will hold an initial public hearing in Melbourne on Monday 12 February 2018. According to the media release, "Commissioner Hayne and Senior Counsel Assisting will make short opening statements..[n]o witnesses will be called". The Royal Commission has also prepared Practice Guideline 1 to explain "the procedures for establishing the conduct of the Commission".|
|Legislation||Exposure draft of new Bill released - superannuation guarantee integrity||Treasury Website||On 24 January 2018, Treasury released for public consultation an exposure draft of the Treasury Laws Amendments (Taxation and Superannuation Guarantee Integrity Measures) Bill 2018. According to the exposure draft Explanatory Material, the Bill intends to amend the Taxation Administration Act 1953 to allow the ATO to:
The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, makes a number of comments about the draft Bill in an associated media release.
Submissions on the proposals may be made until 16 February 2018.