The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) says proposed amendments to the Protecting Your Super legislation flagged by Government are a positive step for consumers. The changes will:
- allow for the aggregation of members’ interests in one or more products held within a superannuation account; and
- ensure the rights of members under fixed term insurance cover are not affected and insurance cover is not inappropriately removed.
ASFA Deputy CEO Glen McCrea said the amendments address practical implementation concerns raised by industry and will lead to better outcomes for consumers.
“These pragmatic changes align the legislation with consumers’ understanding of their superannuation and reflect how people typically manage their superannuation affairs. They also make the legislation less costly and simpler to administer, promoting system efficiency.
“The changes strike a sensible balance. They provide protection for low balance accounts, without eroding the investment and insurance benefits that the system delivers more broadly. We appreciate the Government’s consultative approach to improving the legislation” said Mr McCrea.
ASFA also welcomes the announcement by the Assistant Minister for Superannuation Jane Hume, confirming that the Government will proceed with the deferral of the extension of SuperStream to self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) rollovers from 30 November 2019 to 31 March 2021. This coincides with the timing for bringing electronic release authorities into SuperStream.
“Combining these two Government initiatives means that funds will only have to make changes to systems and processes once. This means less disruption, a reduction in cost and risk to superannuation funds in making changes to systems and processes, and will result in a better member experience” said Mr McCrea.
Finally, ASFA recognises the positive impact of Downsizer contributions on retirement incomes, citing figures released by the Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar that contributions have reached the $1 billion mark. The measure commenced on 1 July 2018 and has enabled retirees to make a non-concessional contribution into superannuation of up to $300 000 from the proceeds of selling their home, in addition to those permitted under existing caps.
“ASFA supported the Downsizer measure as a means of making it easier for retirees who sell their family home to invest in their super to secure a comfortable retirement.”
“We are encouraged to see Australians use the measure to improve flexibility and living standards in retirement” said Mr McCrea.
For further information and media inquiries, please contact:
Mia Kwok, 0451 949 300.
ASFA is the peak policy, research and advocacy body for Australia’s superannuation industry. It is a not-for-profit, sector-neutral, and non-party political, national organisation. ASFA’s mission is to continuously improve the superannuation system, so all Australians can enjoy a comfortable and dignified retirement.