Australia: Superannuation & Funds Management - What's News - 11 March 2015

In the media

Growing retiree numbers highlight the importance of using retirement planning tools: ASFA Retirement Standards December Quarter
ASFA – 6 March 2015 – With the Intergenerational Report showing an increase in the number of retirees and predicting people will live longer in retirement than ever before, the ASFA says it is important people use tools like the ASFA Retirement Standard to help plan how they will fund their retirement years. More...

LegalSuper boss says unlawful bank spruiking "widespread"
MEDIA – 6 March 2015 – The head of an industry superannuation fund says the unlawful practice of banks offering businesses special inducements to become their default super provider is widespread. More...

Intergenerational Report points to super issues
MEDIA – 5 March 2015 – The 2015 Intergenerational Report has pointed to consequences for the superannuation tax regime and income streams. More...

Super billions the key to infrastructure investment and a more productive economy
INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA – 5 March 2015 – Global and domestic infrastructure investors should team up with governments to help explain to the general community the challenges and opportunities of long term public-private partnerships in funding, financing and operating critical infrastructure, says Industry Super Australia. More...

Excess super contribution tax amendments passed
MEDIA – 5 March 2015 - The Federal Government has passed legislation through Parliament to remove punitive tax rates on excess superannuation contributions. Individuals can now take out from super an amount equal to their super contributions in excess of non-concessional contributions cap and an additional 85% of related earnings amount. More...

APRA identifies industry fund market power
MEDIA – 5 March 2015 – Industry superannuation funds control substantial market power in the group life insurance space and have seen fit to wield it, according to an assessment by Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) deputy chairman, Ian Laughlin. More...

Questionable life practices outed by APRA
MEDIA – 5 March 2015 – Life insurance companies have too often adopted questionable practices because they have been driven to score well in product ratings to attract business from advisers, according to an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) senior executive. More...

ECT reforms pass Senate
MEDIA – 5 March 2015 – The Parliament has passed the latest amendments to the superannuation excess contribution tax (ECT), implementing the final piece of legislation to reform the unpopular tax, says Taxpayers Australia Limited. It still imposes penalties on those who make deliberate choices to exceed the caps, but allows greater flexibility and an ability to correct mistakes. More...

Productivity Commission to explore financial services reports
MEDIA – 5 March 2015 – The government has announced a Productivity Commission review aimed at boosting Australia's services exports across financial services and other industries. While services account for approximately 70% of the Australian economy, they represent only 20% of Australia's total exports. More...

"Unethical culture" threatening industry
MEDIA – 5 March 2015 – The CFA Institute has identified poor ethical frameworks within financial services firms as a key obstacle to restoring consumer confidence. More...

Intergenerational Report confirms the need for financial advice for all Australians
FINANCIAL PLANNING ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA – 5 March 2015 – With the release of the Intergenerational Report (IGR), the FPA is once again calling for Australians to seek quality financial advice, particularly in light of our ageing population and the fact that, as a nation, our life expectancy is among the longest in the world. More...

2015 Intergenerational report: Australia in 2055
TREASURY – 5 March 2015 – The Government will consider several aspects of the superannuation system as part of the review of the tax system. The Government is also considering improving the way in which the superannuation system transforms savings into retirement income streams. More...

Cutting red tape for Australian companies
TREASURY – 4 March 2015 – Parliament has passed the Corporations Legislation Amendment (Deregulatory and Other Measures) Bill 2014 which includes a number of red tape-cutting reforms to the Corporations law. More...

CFA: Financial services employers urged to address confidence issue with ethical leadership
MEDIA – 4 March 2015 – The financial services industry in Australia is at a turning point and the crisis of trust must be addressed now, with leadership from the top, according to the CFA Institute. While reforms such as FoFA have improved transparency, legislation alone is never enough to guarantee that all investment professionals will act in their clients' best interests. More...

Big banks accused of offering inducements to win super accounts
MEDIA – 3 March 2015 – Australia's big banks are accused of offering special inducements to businesses to encourage them to switch the default superannuation fund used for the retirement nest eggs of their employees. More...

Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision
RBA – 3 March 2015 – At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.25%. More...

Global investment experts look to Australia for infrastructure solutions
INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA – 3 March 2015 – International and Australian infrastructure investment experts will converge on Canberra this week to discuss breakthrough proposals to connect long term savings with much needed global and domestic infrastructure, at a two day symposium – Innovations in Infrastructure: Beyond G20. More...

Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Ltd (AVCAL) submissions
AVCAL – 3 March 2015 – Submissions sent to:

Australian Securities and Investments Commission – commenting on proposed revisions to RG 97. More...

Austrade – submission relates to the second round of stakeholder consultations concerning proposed changes to the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) and the development of the new Premium Investor Visa (PIV). More...

ISA Briefing Note: Bank cross-selling to employers: A threat to Australia's super safety net
INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA – 2 March 2015 – What successive inquiries said about the risk of banks providing super services to employers. What the law says about cross-selling activity involving superannuation products. Research into bank bundling service offers to small and medium-sized employers. More...

Banks under fire on super deals
MEDIA – 1 March 2015 – The survey by UMR Research reveals that the four banks –Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and ANZ Bank – offered businesses inducements including free tickets to sporting events, lower insurance premiums and cheaper interest rates on business overdrafts if employers switched staff default super funds to the bank's retail funds. More...

Reform of super inequity needed
CPSA – 26 February 2015 – The current super tax system is inherently inequitable, disproportionately benefiting the rich, while people slogging it out on low incomes end up paying more tax than if it went into their pay. The top 10% of income earners receive 31.8% of the benefits of super tax breaks while the bottom 60% receive just 27.2% of the concessional benefits and that's simply not fair. More...

FSC gears up for super tax debate
MEDIA – 26 February 2015 – New FSC boss Sally Loane has called on the government to maintain favourable tax treatment for "all members of superannuation funds" in its much-anticipated tax white paper. More...

APRA chief Wayne Byres flags financial planning penalties
MEDIA – 26 February 2015 – The APRA has told banks to review risks that may be lurking in their financial planning divisions and warned penalties could be imposed if their business culture is found to be deficient. APRA is examining the scandal at National Australia Bank to determine whether it reflected poor governance and risk management more broadly. More...

ADF chief expresses "preference" for better military superannuation deal
MEDIA – 26 February 2015 – Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin expresses his "preference" for military personnel to get a better deal under a new superannuation scheme which will deliver greater contributions during war-like service. More...

Government to strengthen Australia's foreign investment framework
TREASURY – 25 February 2015 – The Commonwealth Government will take action to strengthen Australia's foreign investment framework for residential real estate and agriculture. The Options Paper sets out for consultation the reforms that the Government proposes to implement to improve compliance and enforcement of the rules for foreign investment in residential real estate. More...

Westpac, Count on ASIC radar over complex product advice
MEDIA – 24 February 2015 – Westpac and Commonwealth Bank-owned Count Financial are among the 10 licensees forced to undertake corrective action following concerns by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) concerns about financial advice relating to complex products. More...

Strengthening Australia's foreign investment framework – Consultation Paper
TREASURY – 25 February 2015 – The Government is seeking views on proposed reforms to strengthen Australia's foreign investment framework, particularly around residential real estate and agriculture. This discussion paper forms the basis of the Government's consultation on reforms to the foreign investment framework. More...

Murray Report: Consultation process
GOVERNMENT – 7 December 2014 – The Government is consulting on the Inquiry's recommendations before making any decisions, and is calling for written submissions from all stakeholders. The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2015. More...

Submissions: Fairer Taxation of Excess Non-Concessional Contributions Reforms Regulations: Exposure draft
A new exposure draft regulation and draft explanatory statement would make changes to regulations to implement the Fairer Taxation of Excess Non-concessional Contributions reforms. Submissions close on 18 March 2015. More...

CP 227 Disclosure and reporting requirements for superannuation trustees: s29QC
Released 19 December 2014 / Comments close 13 March 2015. More...


Friar v Brown [2015] FCA 135
SUPERANNUATION – review of a decision of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal by Federal Court – whether Tribunal erred in concluding that the applicant (the sister of the deceased member) and the deceased did not have an interdependency relationship. Court held the Tribunal had not erred at law but did not accept that "an interdependency relationship can never be established in a household where siblings live together" and one is married and lives with a spouse. Will always depend on the circumstances. Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth) ss 10, 10A. Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993 (Cth) ss 37, 46. Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (Cth) rr 1.04AAAA, 6.22. More...



Bills Progress

Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 7) Bill 2014
Schedule 1 to the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 7) Bill 2014 (Bill) amends the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) and the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (TAA 1953) to make the taxation treatment of individuals with excess non-concessional superannuation contributions fairer. 24/2/2015 Representatives: Second Reading Debate. 3/3/2015 Read a third time, passed all stages and awaiting assent. More...

Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 5) Bill 2014
Representatives 3/3/2015 Bill passed all stages and awaiting assent. More...

Treasury Legislation Amendment (Repeal Day) Bill 2014

Schedule 1 to this Bill amends the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 to repeal the payslip reporting provisions. This Schedule does not make any policy changes. No changes in the application of law to any taxpayer will result from these changes. Schedule 3 to this Bill amends the Financial Sector (Shareholdings) Act 1998 so that where the associate of the person does not have a direct control interest in a financial sector company, it is no longer necessary to include the associate's interest with the aggregate direct control interest held by a person. 25/02/2015 Assented. See Act No .2 2015. More...

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