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AIST seeks more details from Treasury on super Budget proposals
AIST is meeting with Treasury representatives tomorrow to drill down on the details of the super proposals announced in Tuesday’s Federal Budget.
AIST has a number of questions about how the proposal to staple members to their existing super fund will work in practice. We will also be seeking further details about the Government’s proposed super fund comparison tool and the annual performance test for funds.
As noted in our media release on Budget night, one of AIST’s key concerns is that the measures could see a significant number of members stapled to an underperforming fund for life.
The scheme relies on consumer disclosure to fix underperformance, despite ASIC recently noting that mandated disclosure and warnings have been proven to be ineffective in influencing consumer behaviour. We also have concerns about the impact of the scheme on insurance coverage for workers in certain occupations.
AIST believes that regulators, not consumers, should take responsibility for underperformance and that this needs to be dealt with before any stapling begins.
No third tranche of early release says Minister
Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Jane Hume has confirmed the Government will not be pursuing a third tranche of the early release scheme.
Media reports today of Minister Hume’s speech at a Financial Services Council event quoted Ms Hume as saying the scheme was temporary and not intended to be a “permanent proposition”.
Meanwhile, APRA data has shown a continued downward trend of early release applications.
There were 36,000 applications to the COVID early release scheme for week ending 27 September, according to APRA figures.
This represents another drop on the previous week’s 38,000 applications.
Of the applications received by funds, 22,000 were initial and 14,000 were repeat applications. The total number of initial applications since inception of the scheme is around 3.2 million and repeat applications are 1.3 million.
More than $33.8 billion in early release has been paid out by super funds since the scheme began. The average payment made over the period since inception is $7,671 overall and $8,384 when considering repeat applications only.
Payment reporting times Bill passes Parliament
A bill requiring large businesses, including super funds, and their related entities with a total annual income of over $100 million to publicly report on their payment times and practices for their small business suppliers has this week passed Parliament.
The Payment Times Reporting Bill requires biannual reporting from big businesses on the time it takes them to pay their small business suppliers. The obligation commences 1 January 2021.
The Bill was passed following amendments from the Senate including the prescriptions for what needs to be included in a payment times report, and that a review of the operation of the scheme will take place two years after its commencement date.
PwC has previously provided industry consultations on the implementation of the scheme.
Payroll jobs record slight improvement in September
Data gathered through the Single Touch Payroll system has shown a slight 0.3 percent national increase in jobs during September, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The ABS reported that payroll jobs remain around 4.1 percent lower across the nation compared with March; 8.0 percent lower in Victoria and 2.7 percent lower in the rest of Australia.
STP data has shown the industries with the largest increase are accommodation and food services and education and training (5.2 percent and 2.4 percent respectively). The growth in accommodation and food services comes despite being one of the hardest hit industries by COVID-19 lockdowns.
Additional industries named by the ABS as having seen growth during September are financial and insurance services (up 2.3 percent), electricity, gas, water and waste services (up 2.4 percent) and public administration and safety (up 2.7 percent).
AIST’s weekly update on the status of legislation
The current status of superannuation Bills currently before Parliament can be found here.