Robert Micevski, Communications Manager, provided an overview of SG communications. The advertising for SG high risk will conclude in June. We distributed educational web articles to various accounting, accommodation and information technology industry associations. A second stage will involve compliance to reflect on behavioural changes resulting directly from the marketing and communication activities.
77,000 employers received a letter from us in April about their SG obligations.
A media alert was distributed through our media unit.
The communication strategy for lost and unclaimed super is still being scoped. We are looking at an end to end view of how best to reunite people with their super. SuperSeeker is the main promotional tool. We will be seeking member feedback about this in the future.
Robert Micevski, Communications Manager, advised we are meeting with ASIC soon to discuss the communication approach and leverage opportunities.
Michael Davidson, Senior Policy Adviser, CPA said 95% of approved auditors are members of one of three associations and the CPA will be communicating to their members. Rob reiterated professional associations are a key channel for ATO communications and once developed; communications material will be distributed to SCC E&C members.
Michael asked if the ATO identifies auditors from returns submitted. Robert confirmed all SCC E&C members will be updated on the communication approach for the registration project.
Changes to the supervisory levy are currently being updated on our website.
Communications will commence to highlight changes to collectables once regulatory approval is granted.
ATO publications will be updated to reflect SIS amendments.
Maria Cerne, Communications Projects Manager, updated members on the Stronger Super reforms which the government has announced to improve the super system and better safeguard the retirement savings of all Australians.
The suite of super reforms comprises of three main elements;
- Stronger Super reforms (Cooper review)
The Stronger Super reforms are made up of four major categories.
- SMSF reforms
- Governance and integrity.
The ATO is responsible for implementing most of the SuperStream and SMSF proposals.
ASIC and APRA implement MySuper and governance and integrity, with the ATO being a significant stakeholder.
These proposed changes will come into effect over the period 1 July 2011 to 1 July 2015 if they are made into law.
- Australia's future tax system review (Henry review)
Reforms arising from the Australia's future tax system review include:
- increasing the super guarantee rate from 9% to 12% over time, with progressive increases commencing from 1 July 2012
- allowing an individual to make up to $50,000 in concessional super contributions where their total super account balance is less than $500,000. This is also expected to commence 1 July 2012
- raising the super guarantee age limit from 70 to 75, from 1 July 2013, and
- providing a government super contribution of up to $500 for low income earners from 1 July 2012.
- Changes to the super system announced as election commitments.
Commitments announced in the 2010 Federal election and again in the 2011-12 Federal Budget include:
- employers required to report super guarantee actually paid on payslips
- requirement for APRA funds to advise members when regular super guarantee payments stop being made by their employers.
These proposed changes will come into effect from 1 July 2012 if they are made into law.
We have received campaign funding for several financial years to inform the community about their rights, entitlements and obligations.
Next financial year, we are funded to raise awareness of the new super contribution cap changes, and changes to the SG rate (if these changes become law).
We will also raise awareness of the new online tool for individuals which will display all super accounts they hold.
Campaign and advertising process
Kimberley Durham, Communications Projects manager discussed the campaign process.
In February, we met with the Communications advice branch in the Department of Finance and Deregulation to discuss the possibility of an advertising campaign for all the super reforms.
The Communications Advice Branch provides policy advice, whole-of-government coordination and campaign assistance to government agencies. They confirmed we can develop one overarching communication strategy for all the reforms, supported by communication action plans for each project.
As paid communications across the life of the super reforms is more than $250,000, the new campaign advertising guidelines requires us to go through the campaign advertising process.
Advertising campaigns are considered by the Independent Communications Committee who reports to the ATO Commissioner on compliance with key aspects of the guidelines.
The Independent Communications Committee will review the super reform campaign:
- advertisements including television, radio, print and online advertisements
- brochures, posters and audio-visual products
- media plans
- translated material (in language).
At this stage campaign activity will commence in May or June 2012. Communication activities could include:
- direct mailout eg, letter
- ato.gov.au web content
- online and print articles via ATO channels
- development/revision of ATO communication products, and
- online and print editorial via industry magazines.
Super contributions caps and financial planners
The Super Marketing Communication team consulted with members at a specially convened meeting.
Attendees included representatives from the Financial Planners Association (FPA), Taxation Institute of Australia and Self-Managed Super Fund Professionals' Association of Australia (SPAA). The attendees advised they would reach 90% of financial planners.
ASIC, FPA contacts and a financial planner were also contacted by the team for a one on one discussion.
Rob Hodge, Principal Policy Adviser from ASFA provided feedback prior to the meeting. Rob believes the ATO excessive contributions tax web content clearly explains how the caps work and that there can be significant consequences for getting it wrong.
Rob suggested the ATO could include several worked examples of how the rules work. Increasing financial planners' awareness of PS LA 2008/1 would be beneficial to the industry as Rob believes it shows how the ATO applies the law.
To address the ECT knowledge gap in the financial industry Rob advised us to request ASIC to update the ASIC Regulatory Guide RG 146 Licensing: Training of financial product advisers because it does not require knowledge of superannuation contribution limits or of excess contributions tax, but it does require knowledge of surcharge. (See Appendix A, 2. Specialist Knowledge, 2.5. Superannuation).
Super contributions caps communication action plan for 2011-12 is being developed.
Communication activities for financial planners will include:
- developing and promoting new and revised ato.gov.au super contributions caps web content, including examples and publishing an existing ATO super contributions caps training package
- promoting the revised fact sheet for individuals Super contributions caps - you may be at risk of paying extra tax (NAT 73285), and
- regularly issuing articles on the super contributions caps to members for their publications.
Key messages for financial planners include information about:
- the bring forward of non-concessional super contributions for individuals under 65 years old
- what constitutes a super contribution
- tips to keep track of super contributions
- disregarding or reallocating super contributions, including special circumstances, and
- how funds report super contributions and fund-capped super contribution limits.
Until the broader communication strategy is implemented, members will be sent an article (to be released in June's TAXAGENT magazine) for their communications with members. The article focuses on how to keep track of super contributions.
Kimberley encouraged members to assist in determining how to measure the reach and effectiveness of this approach. Parallel discussions that occur with NTLG and SCC should be incorporated.
Share key activities designed for ECT with members
Kate Everingham and Kathryn Slade
To be presented at meeting on 22 November 2011.
Therese Dillon, Director of Marketing Communications, updated our members on the progress of the ATO youth project.
The ATO's strategic focus is to engage youth to value tax and super as community assets.
National Youth Week was successful. 1500-2000 people attended on the day and 85,000 watched it on TV program Video Hits on the Sunday morning.
Six out of eleven entries for the National Talent Competition 'ShootIt' were about super. Entries are judged by Gruen Transfer presenter and advertising guru Jane Caro. Winners will be announced on 10 June. Members were sent voting links and encouraged to vote for their favourite. We will inform members of the winning entry, which will be promoted on ato.gov.au, NYW site and potentially the Gruen Transfer.
We conducted qualitative market research at the Nation Youth Week stall with merchandise as incentives for completing the survey.
300 completed the survey. The key findings for 15-24 year olds are are:
- 52% have paid tax
- youth are open to learning about tax and super at school
- half of the youth surveyed did not have a super fund
- 24% thought they did not have the option of choosing a super fund
- 35% received help from their employers or relatives when choosing a super fund
- 64% found out about tax and super from their families
- 32% cited employers and school as their secondary source of information about super and tax (after their families).
On the day the ATO met with representatives from other agencies working in the youth space. Follow up meetings with DEEWR and Fair Work Ombudsman have occurred to gauge perceptions of the event's success and share associated learnings. Future activities have been identified in relation to youth-specific communications.
The ATO is developing a digital curriculum for years 10, 11 and 12. This is still early in development and we will update members at the next meeting of the progress. The package will also be on our website, as interactive IT parcels and as supporting guides for teachers.
Therese described how we changed our ATO language to facilitate understanding and engagement with youth.
Therese mentioned the ATO is keen to provide information to employers of young people to ensure they are receiving impartial information when entering the workforce. Edyta Szubert, Educational Communications Specialist from REST, expressed interest in receiving this information and being involved with this process.
Craig Godfrey, Self Managed Super Funds Professionals' Association of Australia (SPAA)
Craig Godfrey, SPAA General Manager, advised they would circulate to their members communications about the approved auditors registration updates.
Craig thanked the ATO for supporting SPAA's National Conference where 14, 000 delegates attended, making it their largest conference thus far.
SPAA are rolling out technical workshops and conferences in each state throughout August.
James Shattock, National Tax & Accountants Association
James asked for members' feedback about outsourcing SMSF administration overseas.
Edyta Szubert, Retail Employees Superannuation Trust
Edyta, educational communications specialist commented that it was REST's statement time coming up and they are re-designing their statement to better educate their members on their account balances and how their super is invested.
REST are also currently involved with retirement planning workshops with Centrelink.
Michael Davidson, CPA Australia
Michael, Senior Policy Adviser, up-dated the sub-committee on CPA's current focus on the Stronger Super reforms and the impact they will have to their members. They have been conducting face-to-face training.
It has been three years since CPA launched their Love your super campaign. It will be re-launched with additional communications activities later this year.
The next meeting is scheduled to be via tele and video conferencing in our offices in Sydney, Upper Mt Gravatt and Canberra on Tuesday 23 August; however this date and the location will be confirmed with members via email. Members are welcome to attend the video conferencing or dial in.
Close of meeting
Assistant Commissioner Linda Drysdale thanked members for their participation and closed the meeting.
The next meeting will be a telephone and video-conference in Sydney, Canberra and Upper Mount Gravatt on 23 August 2011.
Members are asked to send possible agenda items to firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Modified: Wednesday, 14 September 2011