The government has announced it will extend the submission period for the Tax White Paper by six weeks and initiate an additional “stakeholder engagement process”.
Treasurer Joe Hockey said in a statement that the extension to 24 July 2015 will allow more time for interested parties to submit their views as part of the white paper process.
“This will facilitate more detailed consideration of the interactions between the tax system and the transfer system, including the sustainability of Australia’s retirement income arrangements,” Mr Hockey said.
The treasurer said the government’s objectives for the retirement income system are to ensure stability and certainly, while optimising retirement incomes, ensuring fiscal sustainability and equity and encouraging self-provision for retirement.
“The Tax White Paper will consider submissions on how policy settings can better encourage more productive use of savings to optimise retirement incomes, in simpler and more effective ways, not simply restricted to superannuation," he said. "This will include issues such as equity release and comprehensive retirement income stream products.”
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, SMSF Association senior manager for technical and policy Jordan George said while the extra time to allow interested parties to make a submission is a good thing, it is also important to keep the Tax White Paper process moving so that SMSF trustees can have certainty on how their superannuation will be taxed in the future.
The SMSF Association also believes that “changes to how superannuation is taxed should not be contemplated without considering their intention with other aspects of the retirement income system", Mr George said.
“We pleased to see the government consider broader retirement income issues as part of the Tax White Paper process."
The news of the delay comes as the Greens enter a pension assets deal with the Coalition.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale agreed to a tighter assets test for the age pension which would drop the threshold for couples from $1.1 million in assets outside the family home down to $823,000, as reported by ABC news.
Senator Di Natale said that in securing the agreement he had convinced the government to put superannuation back on the agenda.
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