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  • SISG key messages 24 May 2017

    The Superannuation Industry Stewardship Group (SISG) met in Sydney on 24 May 2017.

    Welcome and introduction

    James O’Halloran welcomed the new members to the SISG and gave thanks and appreciation to the members who are no longer part of the groups membership. James also announced as part of the ATO’s consultative arrangements post implementation review, the appointment of David Knox as co-chair of the SISG, commencing from today’s meeting.

    Superannuation changes

    Jason Lucchese led a discussion on the progress of implementing the government’s 2016 Budget measures.

    Members were invited to raise any concerns or issues relating to the implementation of the new measures they felt needed to be resolved.

    The general view was that members are happy with the progress of implementation, however there are some concerns raised regarding:

    • The visibility of information held by funds to determine if a member has met a condition of release when moving from a transition to retirement income stream (TRIS). Further consideration is required from the ATO regarding the practicalities on the condition of release and what the law requires.
    • Some questions were raised in relation to how the deductibility of contributions will apply for members who roll over contributions. It was noted this issue has also been raised in other ATO Superannuation consultation forums. This issue will form part of the forward work program and the ATO will engage with industry to work through a possible solution.

    Members acknowledged the ATO’s efforts in preparing the guidance material to support individuals and professionals, however there will need to be continued focus on communication and education post 1 July.

    Jenny Wilkinson thanked industry for their feedback and contribution into the drafting of legislation. It was noted the importance for industry to continue raising issues.

    There are a number of outstanding regulations being progressed and the government will continue to consult with industry as these are worked through.

    Budget 2017

    Jenny Wilkinson from Treasury led a discussion on the government’s changes to superannuation announced in the Federal Budget 201718.

    The key measures that were discussed included:

    • The extension of CGT merger relief
    • The creation of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority
    • First Home Super Saver Scheme
    • Downsizing contributions
    • Non arm’s length integrity measures

    There was discussion about the policy settings in relation to the measures, early indications on how they would be administered, as well as key issues for industry to be considered in policy and administrative design.

    Current project work looking at employers in superannuation

    Ged Fitzpatrick from ASIC provided an update on ASIC’s upcoming project dealing with superannuation funds and employers.

    The project will consider the relationship between funds and employers, including advice, marketing and other engagement strategies and the impacts on members.

    It will also address the types of services provided to members, including advice and insurance. This is linked into a separate piece of work on insurance in super.

    It was noted that ASIC’s role includes undertaking regular surveillance on different parts of the sector with regards to superannuation. The employers in super work draws on some of ASIC's findings and experiences from other recent project work and reactive reviews, including work on disengaged members and what measures trustees have in place to identify and assist these members.

    A report on the findings is expected early 2018.

    Single Touch Payroll superannuation update

    John Shepherd and Ian Colhoun from the ATO provided an update on the proposed employee commencement design and consultation activities.

    Discussion was held around the design principles to enhance the employee commencement process undertaken by an employer.

    The changes aim to improve efficiency in the system, data quality and engagement in choice.

    The ATO confirmed there is further testing to be done of the choice screen to identify any further improvements.

    A consultation paper is being developed to enable and support a phased employer transition by 1 July 2018. The consultation period will be 28 days from when the document is available.

    While the overall experience with the ATO on Single Touch Payroll has been positive, members raised some concerns about the need to allow sufficient time for responses and that there may be insufficient time to make changes following any further consultation.

    Super Guarantee compliance

    Jenny Wilkinson from Treasury led a discussion on the recommendations from the Senate Economincs References Committee Report.

    Members discussed their views on the recommendations from the report and different approaches to identifying and addressing Super Guarantee (SG) non-compliance.

    Members acknowledge there are broader issues and barriers contributing to the negative impacts on SG compliance affecting the key distinct groups.

    Representative bodies future priorities for 201718

    John Maroney presented the SMSFA’s key priorities for the 201718 year.

    • Ensuring professional members have the resources and education to assist them to implement the 1 July 2017 super changes for their clients. This applies to the immediate need to comply with the new laws and longer-term strategy changes that might be driven by the new laws.
    • Assisting the SMSFA’s trustee members with information and guidance on what they need to be doing in the post 1 July 2017 regulatory environment.
    • Undertaking further research on SMSFs and how they change and evolve throughout their members’ lifecycle.
    • Advancing the SMSFA and ATO’s strategic partnership to instil greater confidence, trust and integrity in the super system for Australians’ retirement.
    • Working with the new Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority to develop new education and ethical standards for the financial advice industry.

    Blake Briggs presented the FSC’s key priorities for the 201718 year.

    • CIPRs and competition in the default market
    • Insurance Working Group process and mental health 
    • Advice: professional standards body
    • Funds Management: implementation of the Asia Region Funds Passport.

    Commissioner's Remedial Power

    Tim Beale from the ATO joined to discuss the new legislation giving the Commissioner the ability to resolve unforseen or unintended outcomes in the tax and super law by legislative instrument.

    Key points to note include:

    • The Commissioners Remedial Power (CRP) is a discretionary power used in limited circumstances to modify the operation of the tax law to reduce compliance costs for taxpayers or ensure the law can be administered with its intended purpose.
    • The modification can apply to any section/subsection of tax and super law and can apply to different taxpayers in different situations, however it will have no effect for a taxpayer if it would produce a less favourable result.
    • The CRP is not the primary vehicle for initiating changes to legislation. Existing advocacy processes are still relevant. The CRP can’t change the purpose of existing law.

    Members discussed some items that could potentially be considered for using this power.

    Other business

    Chair, James O’Halloran asked members to consider a forward program of work for future meetings and the option of including topics for discussion by theme to allow for more detailed conversations.

    Members agreed there continues to be value in holding the SISG meeting face to face.

    Co-Chair, David Knox thanked members for their valuable contributions.

    Next Meeting

    Tuesday 22 August 2017 in Melbourne.

    Action items

    Action item 20170524-1

    The ATO agreed to provide members with a copy of the draft choice screen shot for circulation to their constituents on a trusted basis and not for further public distribution.

    Action item 20170524-2

    Members were asked to consider the recommendations and provide their top five priority issues to improve SG compliance and bottom two issues they wouldn’t support to SuperConsultation@ato.gov.au by 2 June 2017.

    Attendees

    Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

    James O’Halloran, Deputy Commissioner, Superannuation (Chair)

    Jason Lucchese, Assistant Commissioner, Superannuation

    Sarah Kimmorley, Senior Director, Superannuation

    Tammie Turner, Superannuation (Secretariat)

    Guests (ATO)

    John Shepherd, Assistant Commissioner, Single Touch Payroll

    Ian Colhoun, Director Single Touch Payroll

    Tim Beale, Director Policy & New Measures, Private Groups & High Wealth Individuals

    Treasury

    Jenny Wilkinson

    Robb Preston

    Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)

    Carolyn Morris

    Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC)

    Ged Fitzpatrick

    Australian Bankers Association (ABA)

    Christine Cupritt (attendee from 1pm for Diane Tate)

    Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)

    Dick Grozier

    Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST)

    Eva Scheerlinck

    Association of Super Funds Australia (ASFA)

    Glen McCrea

    Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)

    Tony Negline

    CPA Australia

    Paul Drum

    Financial Services Council (FSC)

    Blake Briggs

    Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA)

    Dimitri Diamantes

    Industry Super Australia (ISA)

    Michael Fisher

    Law Council of Australia

    Michelle Levy

    Mercer

    David Knox (Chair)

    SMSF Association (SMSFA)

    John Maroney

    Apologies

    Australian Bankers' Association (ABA)

    Diane Tate

    Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA)

    Dante De Gori

    Industry Super Australia (ISA)

    David Whiteley

      Last modified: 28 Jun 2017QC 52715