Australia: Superannuation & Funds Management - What's News in Superannuation and Funds Management - 26 June 2012

Last Updated: 1 July 2012

In the media

Carbon tax marks biggest overhaul since the GST
SMH – 23 June 2012 - Households and businesses face the biggest tax shake-up in more than a decade in just over a week, as the carbon price and major changes to tax rates and family payments take effect. Tax increases on superannuation will target higher income earners, while people earning less than $37,000 will effectively pay no tax on compulsory super contributions. More...

Reforms to cut financial advice costs
AUST - 23 June 2012 - Consumers are to gain new ways to drive down the cost of financial advice under federal reforms to stamp out hidden commissions while boosting competition among professional advisers. Changes unveiled today will sharpen the oversight of superannuation funds amid fears that workers could be fleeced by criminals or poor management. More...

Introduction of Investment Manager Regime Legislation to the Parliament
BILL SHORTEN 21 June 2012 - The Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation introduced into Parliament a bill to amend the income tax law which contain the first two elements of the Investment Manager Regime (IMR). This bill will provide foreign managed funds and their investors with greater certainty as to the tax treatment of certain income of the fund and further the Government's goal of establishing Australia as a regional financial centre. More...

FOFA passes through Senate
FPA – 20 June 2012 - The Financial Planning Association (FPA) welcomes the clarity provided through the passing of the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms by the Senate today. Effective as law from 01 July 2012, FOFA compliance will become mandatory for financial planners and licensees from 1 July 2013, following a 12-month transition period. More...

Passage of FOFA welcome: ASFA
ASSOCIATION OF SUPERANNUATION FUNDS AUSTRALIA LTD- 20 June 2012 - The peak body for superannuation welcomed the passage through the Senate of the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) legislation. The ASFA said FOFA is a good reform which will end the practice of conflicted remuneration and includes a statutory duty for advisers to act in the customer's best interest. More...

SPAA says 'no' to a levy on SMSFs for fraud and theft
SELF MANAGED SUPER FUNDS PROFESSIONALS' ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED – 20 June 2012 - A levy on SMSFs in case of theft or fraud would be bad policy and would only have the effect or hurting the vast majority of trustees who play by the rules, says the SMSF Professionals' Association of Australia (SPAA). More...

Industry supports FOFA passage
The Senate's passing of the government's Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms has been met with a positive response from industry participants. The FPA was pleased the government had also reconfirmed its commitment to enshrining the term 'financial planner' in the Corporations Act and was now accelerating the process (21 June 2012). More...

FOFA passes, but confusion over enshrining 'financial planner'
The Government's Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) legislation passed through the Senate yesterday, but there seems to be some confusion over whether the terms 'financial planner' and 'financial adviser' will be enshrined in law (21 June 2012). More...

Unresolved issues but super bill gets through
The Future of Financial Advice legislation, which will impose a duty on advisers to act in their clients' best interests and which, until recently had included a mandatory "opt in" arrangement by which advisers would have to seek re-engagement every two years, had been scheduled to start on July 1.

But Financial Services and Superannuation Minister Bill Shorten has chosen to give it a non-mandatory launch this year (21 June 2012). More...

Councils facing threat of $150m super shortfall hit
Local councils in Victoria are bracing for more than $150 million in surprise charges as part of a defined benefits scheme from a superannuation fund operated by Vision Super. The charges relate to a defined benefit scheme dating back to the 1940s that guaranteed council employees and their spouses annuity-style payments for life. The fund closed in 1993 (21 June 2012). More...

ASIC gives guidance for shorter PDS regime
The corporate regulator has released short-form PDS guidance to assist insurers of superannuation products and simple managed investment schemes (19 June 2012). More...

Greater industry involvement required in super payments standards
ASSOCIATION OF SUPERANNUATION FUNDS AUSTRALIA LTD 18 June 2012 - Stronger Super legislation before the Parliament must be amended to ensure the superannuation industry is jointly responsible with Government for development of new standards, says the peak body for the superannuation industry. The ASFA says it is important the development and implementation of data and payments standards for superannuation is done right.

Reforms to Super helping Australians make the most of their super
BILL SHORTEN 18 June 2012 - Research released by Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten, shows broad support for the super system, but many people continue to find it a difficult topic to understand. Reforms to super announced by the Gillard Government will help to ensure that these savings are protected. More...

A win for Small Business as Super becomes easier
BILL SHORTEN 18 June 2012 - The measures contained in the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Stronger Super) Bill 2012 implement changes recommended by the Cooper review into Australia's superannuation system. These reforms will remove the need for employers to provide different information (or in a different format) to different funds. More...

APRA risk capital requirements no Basel III
MEDIA – 14 June 2012 - APRA says it will not force superannuation funds to hold 0.25 per cent of FUM as a risk capital requirement, and will not dictate how superannuation funds calculate the capital required to offset any potential losses from operational risks. More...

ASIC cuts red tape on AFSLs
MEDIA – 13 June 2012 - ASIC has streamlined the process of applying for an Australian financial services licence following the revision of regulatory guides. The corporate regulator has revised three of its regulatory guides for Australian financial services licences (AFSL) in a bid to reduce industry red tape and costs. More...

The world of superannuation contributions
Source: Mike Mitchell, Taxation in Australia, June 2012
The Australian Taxation Office has discretion to disregard or allocate to another financial year all or part of a superannuation contribution in very limited circumstances. This article examines a number of common mistakes with regard to both concessional contributions and non-concessional contributions that create adverse tax consequences. More...

Small business super clearing house 2012
Businesses with less than 20 employees can also take advantage of the free small business super clearing house designed to reduce red tape and compliance costs associated with meeting their super guarantee obligations. Businesses can register for the service by visiting or phoning Medicare Australia on 1300 660 048.

Shorter PDS regime for superannuation products
The new shorter PDS regime for superannuation products and simple managed investment schemes commences fully on 22 June 2012. ASIC has published Shorter PDSs: Complying with requirements for superannuation products and simple managed investment schemes ( INFO 155) to provide concise guidance for industry on technical issues related to implementation of the new shorter PDS regime. ASIC has also updated Shorter PDS regime: Superannuation, managed investment schemes and margin lending ( INFO 133) to reflect the amendments to the transition period implemented by the Corporations Legislation Amendment Regulations 2011 (No.2).

ASIC will provide interim class order relief from the shorter PDS regime for multifunds, superannuation platforms and hedge funds (18 June 2012)


Paget and Commissioner of Taxation [2012] AATA 334
Superannuation - concessional contribution - excess contributions tax – Commissioner's discretion to make a determination to disregard concessional contribution or to allocate concessional contribution to another financial year - timing of contributions – consideration of when a concessional contribution is "made" - contribution by applicant's employer by electronic funds transfer - meaning of "special circumstances" – "object" of Division 292 - whether contribution made would more appropriately be allocated towards another financial year - whether it was reasonably foreseeable, when the contribution was made, that the applicant would have excess contributions - terms of any agreement or arrangement between applicant and employer as to the amount and timing of the contribution - extent to which applicant had control over the making of the contribution – Commissioner's objection decision affirmed. More...



Legislative Instruments

Family Law (Superannuation) Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 1)
This regulation amends the Family Law (Superannuation) Regulations 2001 to reflect changes to some military and civilian superannuation schemes and their administration. More...

Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Stronger Super) Bill 2012
Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services report on the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Stronger Super) Bill 2012 and Superannuation Supervisory Levy Imposition Amendment Bill 2012, tabled 13 June 2012.

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