Key super measures left in limbo

Several major superannuation changes that will impact SMSF practitioners have been left in limbo, with parliament not sitting again uuntil the election.

Following the announcement of sweeping changes to super by then Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten in April, several key changes have been implemented.

These include a phased increase in the super guarantee, which has already gone up to 9.25 per cent, and a $10,000 increase in the concessional contributions for people aged 60 and over.

However, following the announcement, the SMSF sector was particularly concerned about the implementation of a $100,000 cap on tax-free earnings in the pension phase, with SMSF members among the most likely retirees to be affected.

This is one of the key measures that now hinges on the election outcome, with the Coalition likely to scrap many of Labor’s proposals if it gains power.

SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA) said in May that the association was particularly concerned over the complexity that would be involved in administering the $100,000 cap.

“The fact that the Budget papers provide $43 million to administer this measure for an estimated 16,000 affected taxpayers shows its complexity.”

In a recent column for SMSF Adviser, Institute of Public Accountants senior policy adviser Reece Agland also questioned the measure, calling it a “shock”.

The government estimated only those with more than $2 million in super wold be affected but this has been challenged by several commentators.

Mr Agland said that even if the measure would only impact the 16,000 individuals that the government had predicted, “one has to ask why the government has bothered with this proposal”.

Other proposed super measures now awaiting an election outcome include changes to the tax treatment of deferred lifetime annuities, an extension of the deeming rules and an increase in the inactive account consolidation threshold.

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