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Senate

Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Application to the Commonwealth) Bill 1997

Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Application to the Commonwealth) Act 1997

Explanatory Memorandum

(Circulated by authority of the Treasurer, the Hon Peter Costello, MP)

General outline and financial impact

Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Application to the Commonwealth) Bill

This Bill forms part of a package of legislation designed to give a legislative framework for the introduction of a superannuation contributions surcharge for high income earners. The other components of the legislative package are: the Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Assessment and Collection Bill) 1997, the Superannuation Contributions Surcharge Imposition Bill 1997, the Termination Payments Surcharge (Assessment and Collection) Bill 1997, the Termination Payments Surcharge Imposition Bill 1997, the Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1997 and the Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Application to the Commonwealth-Reduction of Benefits) Bill 1997.

Date of effect: 20 August 1996

Proposal announced : The introduction of the superannuation contributions surcharge for high income earners was announced by the Government in the 1996-97 Budget and was incorporated in the Treasurer's Press Release No. 87 of 20August1996 entitled "Superannuation Reform."

Financial impact: It is estimated that the revenue impact of the package of legislation giving effect to the surcharge will be $480 million in 1997-98, $470 million in 1998-99 and $530 million in 1999-2000.

Compliance cost impact:

Full details of the compliance costs associated with the surcharge measures are contained in the compliance cost statement in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Assessment and Collection) Bill 1997.

Overview

1.1 This Bill provides for the notional application of superannuation contributions surcharge on the surchargeable contributions of members of non-contributory Commonwealth superannuation schemes. The purpose of the Bill, together with the Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Application to the Commonwealth-Reduction of Benefits) Bill 1997, is to cover the application of the superannuation contributions surcharge to Commonwealth superannuation arrangements for the Judiciary and to other similar Commonwealth superannuation arrangements.

Explanation of the provisions

Title and Commencement of the Act

1.2 When the Bill is enacted it will be called the Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Application to the Commonwealth) Act 1997. [Clause1]

1.3 The Act is to commence on the day it receives the Royal Assent. [Clause2]

Interpretation

1.4 Terms used in the Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Application to the Commonwealth) Bill 1997 are defined in the Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Assessment and Collection) Bill 1997 and are explained in the Explanatory Memorandum to that Bill. [Clause3]

Application

1.5 The Bill applies if:

·
the trustee of an unfunded defined benefits superannuation scheme is an officer, authority or agent of the Commonwealth; and
·
the trustee would be liable to pay superannuation contributions surcharge on superannuation contributions for a financial year for a member of the scheme if he or she was not an officer, authority or agent of the Commonwealth; and
·
there are no contributed amounts payable to the trustee for or by the member under the scheme-that is, the scheme is a wholly unfunded scheme.

[Clause4]

Trustee taken not to be an officer, etc of the Commonwealth

1.6 If the Bill applies to a trustee because the circumstances outlined in paragraph1.5 are satisfied, the trustee is taken not to be an officer, authority or agent of the Commonwealth in the trustee's capacity as trustee of the scheme. [Clause5]

Directions by the Minister for Finance

1.7 The Minister for Finance may give any written directions to the trustee that are necessary or convenient to be given for discharging the trustee's liability to pay the surcharge. In particular, the Minister for Finance can give directions in relation to the transfer of money within the Public Account.

1.8 The trustee must comply with any directions by the Minister for Finance which have effect despite any other law of the Commonwealth.

[Clause6]

Discharge of liability of trustee

1.9 Compliance by the trustee with directions given by the Minister for Finance is taken to discharge the trustee's liability to pay the surcharge. [Subclause 7(1)]


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