Super Alert – 14 May 2021

Welcome to the latest issue of the KHQ Super Alert. A number of superannuation-related measures were announced as part of the Federal Budget this week, however the changes were not as extensive as in previous years which is some welcome news for the industry. Proposed legislation was also released in relation to establishing the Financial Regulator Assessment Authority to review the effectiveness of ASIC and APRA. 

KHQ Lawyers - Super Alert

Legislation – Regulator Assessment Bills

On 13 May 2021, the Financial Regulator Assessment Authority Bill 2021 (Cth) and the Financial Regulator Assessment Authority (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2021 were introduced into the House of Representatives. According to the Explanatory Memorandum, the Bill proposes to establish ‘the Financial Regulator Assessment Authority to assess the effectiveness and capability of each of APRA and ASIC’.

The key functions will be to ‘assess and report to the [relevant] Minister on APRA’s effectiveness and capability and on ASIC’s effectiveness and capability’ every two years, and ‘report to the Minister on any matter relating to either or both of APRA’s effectiveness and capability and ASIC’s effectiveness and capability’ when requested by the relevant Minister. The effective date is proposed to be 1 July 2021, or the day after the Bill receives Royal Assent if that occurs later.

Click here and here for details.

Federal Budget – Superannuation measures

On 11 May 2021, the Federal Budget was handed down. As part of the Budget Paper containing the superannuation-related measures, the Government announced that it will:

  • ‘not proceed with a measure to extend early release of superannuation to victims of family and domestic violence’;
  • ‘make four technical changes to the legislation underpinning the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) to improve its operation as well as the experience of first home buyers using the scheme’ – Date of effect: Retrospectively from 1 July 2018;
  • ‘reduce the eligibility age to make downsizer contributions into superannuation from 65 to 60 years of age’ – Date of effect: From the start of the first financial year after Royal Assent of the enabling legislation, ‘which the Government expects to have occurred prior to 1 July 2022’;
  • ‘allow individuals aged 67 to 74 years (inclusive) to make or receive non-concessional (including under the bring-forward rule) or salary sacrifice superannuation contributions without meeting the work test, subject to existing contribution caps. Individuals aged 67 to 74 years will still have to meet the work test to make personal deductible contributions’ – Date of effect: From the start of the first financial year after Royal Assent of the enabling legislation, ‘which the Government expects to have occurred prior to 1 July 2022’; and
  • ‘remove the current $450 per month minimum income threshold, under which employees do not have to be paid the superannuation guarantee by their employer’ – Date of effect: From the start of the first financial year after Royal Assent of the enabling legislation, ‘which the Government expects to have occurred prior to 1 July 2022’.

Other measures were also announced which relate to self-managed superannuation funds only.

Click here for details.

ATO – Federal Budget information

On 11 May 2021, the ATO issued the following information pages in relation to the superannuation measures announced in the Federal Budget:

  • First Home Super Saver Scheme – increasing the maximum releasable amount to $50,000 and technical amendments – click here for details;
  • Flexible super – repealing the work test for voluntary superannuation contributions – click here for details;
  • Flexible super – reducing the eligibility age for downsizer contributions – click here for details; and
  • Removing the $450 per month threshold for super guarantee eligibility – click here for details.
APRA – Reporting Standards FAQs

On 7 May 2021, APRA released additional frequently asked questions (FAQs) in relation to ‘meeting the Reporting Standards for Phase 1 of the Superannuation Data Transformation’. The first collection of data under the new Reporting Standards is set to commence on 30 September 2021. It is unclear which questions are new in the list as APRA has not identified which questions were recently added.

Click here for details.

AUSTRAC – Suspicious Matter Reports guidance

On 29 April 2021, AUSTRAC released a reference guide and checklist in relation to submitting ‘more effective suspicious matter reports’. The guidance explains ‘how to write succinct, accurate and clear grounds for suspicion’ and contains examples ‘to illustrate the different types of [suspicious matter reports] received by AUSTRAC’. The checklist summarises the main points in the guide.

Click here for details.

And for some light relief …

Those who grapple with the complexity of the Corporations Act might find this amusing!

KHQ Lawyers - Sanela Osmanovic

Sanela Osmanovic Senior Associate

Sanela is a Senior Associate in the superannuation & financial services team, and has a broad range of experience working with a range of superannuation fund trustees, superannuation administrators,... Read More

KHQ Lawyers - Natalie Cambrell

Natalie Cambrell Principal Solicitor

Natalie Cambrell leads our superannuation and financial services team.  With more than 20 years’ experience, she has an enviable reputation for her in-depth knowledge in these highly regulated and... Read More