On 5 April 2013, the Government made a number of announcements relating to changes to superannuation, including capping the tax exemption for earnings on superannuation assets supporting income streams at $100 000 and increasing the concessional contributions cap for those aged 50 or more. The Government’s overall intent in making these changes was to ‘improve the fairness, sustainability and efficiency of the superannuation system’. The measures also provided savings to the budget of $947 million over the forward estimates. A separate Parliamentary Library brief summarised these announcements.
The 2013–14 Budget included some more detailed costing for these measures, with only a minor change in total savings over the forward estimates from these announced measures ($901 million).
In addition to including these previously announced measures, the 2013–14 Budget included only a small number of minor superannuation budget measures at a net cost of around $10 million over the forward estimates including:
- amendments to the 2012–13 Budget measure to reduce the contributions tax concession for those earning more than $300,000 (exempting federal judges sitting on or after 1 July 2012); using a similar definition of income to that used for calculating whether a person is liable to pay the Medicare levy surcharge; and refunding to former temporary residents the tax paid under the measure (revenue gain of $25.2 million over the forward estimates)
- further grants of financial assistance to compensate members of four superannuation funds, formerly under trusteeship of Trio Capital Limited (Trio), that suffered losses due to fraudulent conduct (the cost of $16.7 million in 2012–13 recovered by industry levies collected in 2012–13)
- additional funding for the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (cost $2.6 million over four years to be recovered by industry levies)
- funding to support the development of a Charter of Superannuation Adequacy and Sustainability and establishment of Council of Superannuation Custodians (cost $0.2 million over four years), and
- amend the eligibility criteria for the low income superannuation contribution to pay individuals with an entitlement below $20 (cost $15 million over four years).
The superannuation industry was generally appreciative that no further major changes were announced. The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia noted that:
Over the past few months we have expressed concern regarding the impact on community confidence in superannuation as a result of the ongoing speculation. These concerns appear to have been addressed.
. Ibid., pp. 38, 266 and 270–271.
. Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, Budget allows people to plan for their retirement with certainty, media release, 14 May 2013, accessed 15 May 2013; Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST), Super relief: AIST welcomes stability for Australians saving for retirement, media release, 15 May 2013, accessed 15 May 2013; SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia, SMSF trustees and advisors sleep easier after 2013 budget, media release, 14 May 2013, accessed 15 May 2013.
. Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, op. cit.
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