Much of the Government’s superannuation agenda starts the Parliamentary year stalled in the Senate.
The Government currently has five superannuation Bills before the Parliament. The Government gave three of the four Bills in the Senate priority for debate in the final sitting week of 2017, only to delay when it became clear they didn’t have the votes. At the time Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, said the Bills were “certainly not dead”.
The fourth Bill is the Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2016, which sets an objective for superannuation in legislation. It was last debated in late 2016.
Some of the measures, such as closing the salary sacrifice Superannuation Guarantee ‘loophole’, have wide support. But this measure is bundled in a Bill with changes to choice of super fund. Though the Government appears confident of passing the Bill, based on recent draft legislation.
None of the Bills in the Senate are listed for debate in the first sitting week of 2018 (February 5-8) in the Draft Legislation Programme for the Senate.
The Government has also been consulting on several pieces of legislation to be introduced to Parliament in 2018:
- Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. 12) Bill 2017 – includes LRBAs in Total Superannuation Balance and amends Non-Arm’s Length Income (NALI) rules
- Treasury Laws Amendment (Taxation and Superannuation Guarantee Integrity Measures) Bill 2018 – Superannuation Guarantee compliance changes and Single Touch Payroll
There may also be changes made to the rules for early release of superannuation, consultation on which is currently underway.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Consumers First—Establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority) Bill 2017 – which creates AFCA, replacing in part the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal – is set for debate in the House on Thursday. The Bill has already passed the Senate – it was introduced there first – with amendment.