The bills proposing changes to the superannuation system were introduced into Parliament last week, on November 9.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Bill 2016 (you can read the details here) contains the vast majority of the changes to the regulation and taxation treatment of superannuation funds and superannuation benefits.
Measures such as the transfer balance cap, concessional and non-concessional contributions caps, and unused concessional cap carry forward are contained in this bill.
Needless to say, this is a mammoth bill and the changes are far-reaching, despite the fact that a lot of them are aimed at superannuation members with balances in excess of $1.6 million.
Superannuation (Excess Transfer Balance Tax) Imposition Bill 2016 (see it here) is much smaller piece of legislation and concerns itself only with the imposition of an additional tax at either 15% or 30% (second and subsequent excesses) on notional earnings in cases where a taxpayer exceeded their transfer balance cap.
Both of the above-mentioned bills are still in the House of Representatives and have been referred to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, which is due to report on these bills on November 23, 2016.
The third bill in the package, Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2016, was also introduced on November 9. It seeks to effect the primary objective of the superannuation system, which, according to the bill, is to provide income in retirement to substitute or supplement the age pension. The bill allows for the regulations to state subsidiary objectives of the superannuation system.
If the legislation is passed, any future changes to the superannuation system will need to be accompanied by a statement of compatibility with the primary and subsidiary objectives of the superannuation system. The Senate Economics Legislation Committee is due to report on this bill on February 14, 2017 (although we shouldn’t expect a box of chocolates to come with it, even though it’s Valentine’s Day).