House of Representatives

Tax Laws Amendment (Superannuation Contributions Splitting) Bill 2005

Second Reading Speech

Mr Brough (Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer)

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Tax Laws Amendment (Superannuation Contributions Splitting) Bill 2005 makes consequential amendments to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 to provide for the tax consequences of the government's election commitment to allow members to split both their personal and employer superannuation contributions with their spouse. The exact details of how the splitting measure will operate will be specified under regulations. Contribution splitting is a key element of the government's superannuation reforms. It will assist families to maximise the benefits available in superannuation and provide an avenue for spouses to share their superannuation benefits. This is important for families with only one working spouse in the home or where one spouse receives a low income.

The splitting of superannuation contributions will benefit many families. It will particularly assist low-income or non-working spouses to have superannuation assets under their own control and to have their own income in retirement. This measure is expected to benefit women in particular. It will provide single income couples with access to two eligible termination payments low-rate thresholds and two reasonable benefit limits in a similar way to dual income families. For taxation purposes the contributions which are split and paid to another fund or transferred to an account in the existing fund for a spouse will be considered an eligible termination payment roll-over. I commend the bill to the House and present the explanatory memorandum.

Debate (on motion by Ms Livermore) adjourned.