Treasury has ruled out further tax changes to superannuation in the next federal budget, noting that advisers, investors and industry associations are still working through the extensive revisions announced last year.
Robert Jeremenko, head of Treasury’s retirement income policy division, told the SMSF Association National Conference in Sydney last week the sector was “too big to ignore” by the government, which he said is committed to providing flexibility and choice to retirees.
He said that although there were consultations in relation to superannuation in process, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer was committed to no further superannuation tax change for now.
“I think everyone can agree, given the breadth and extent of the budget changes, that’s welcome,” Jeremenko said. “That doesn’t mean things like the reversionary transition-to-retirement income streams [TRIS] measure can’t be looked at and enacted.”
Last week, the government put out draft legislation that enabled reversionary TRIS to be automatically transferred to eligible dependants in all cases if the primary recipient dies, something the SMSF Association rallied for in its budget submission last year.
At the moment, a reversionary TRIS cannot be transferred to a dependant if the dependant hasn’t met the condition of release.
O’Dwyer said, “Allowing a TRIS to automatically revert in all cases will simplify administrative processes for superannuation funds. It will also make it easier for superannuation members by eliminating the need for recently bereaved dependants to engage quickly with the super affairs at what is a particularly difficult time.”
O’Dwyer’s office is also in the midst of a consultation on the early release of super, which Jeremenko said has attracted interest outside of the super industry.
He also stressed the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry would not stop other Treasury work.
“The government was very clear when the royal commission was announced that formulation and work on various matters would not stop, would not halt as a result of that,” he said. “We’re just watching like everyone else.”