The highlights of this week’s Super Alert include the SG amnesty Bill receiving Royal Assent, the ATO’s guidance on this topic, and an ASIC consultation paper seeking feedback in relation to the implementation of a number of Royal Commission recommendations.
Treasury Laws Amendment (Recovering Unpaid Superannuation) Bill 2019 – Royal Assent
On 6 March 2020, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Recovering Unpaid Superannuation) Bill 2019 (referred to in our Super Alert of 28 February 2020) received Royal Assent and is now Act No. 21 of 2020.
The new Act introduces the superannuation guarantee amnesty for employers to encourage self-correction of historical superannuation guarantee non-compliance. The amnesty will end on 6 September 2020 (being 6 months after the Bill received Royal Assent). On 10 March 2020, the ATO published website guidance for employers seeking to rely on the amnesty.
ATO provides update on superannuation guidance under development
On 9 March 2020, the ATO updated its website in relation to the advice and guidance on superannuation issues that it is currently developing. Some of the advices in development include a guidance note to ‘address law changes introduced by the Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Tax Integrity and Other Measures No. 1) Act 2019 which changed the way salary amounts sacrificed to superannuation are treated when calculating and paying superannuation guarantee from 1 January 2020′, expected to be completed in March 2020.
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ASIC’s consultation paper on advice fee consents and independence disclosure
On 10 March 2020, ASIC issued Consultation Paper 329 ‘Implementing the Royal Commission recommendations: Advice fee consents and independence disclosure’ (CP 329). CP 329 seeks feedback from the public on:
- ‘draft legislative instruments that deal with advice fee consents and independence disclosure’; and
- ‘a proposal to issue more guidance in Regulatory Guide 245 Fee Disclosure Statements…to help industry meet obligations around ongoing fee arrangements, including renewal notices and fee disclosure statements’.
According to ASIC, the draft instruments are based on the Government’s exposure draft legislation which proposes to implement a number of the Royal Commission’s recommendations (see our Super Alert of 7 February 2020). They are the:
- Draft ASIC Corporations (Consent to Deductions — Ongoing Fee Arrangements) Instrument 2020/XX, which sets ‘requirements for the giving of consent… to the deduction of ongoing fees… from a client’s account (Recommendation 2.1)’;
- Draft ASIC Superannuation (Consent to Pass on Costs of Providing Advice) Instrument 2020/XX, which sets ‘requirements for the member consent form to deduct fees… from a member’s superannuation account for an arrangement that is not an ongoing fee arrangement… (Recommendation 3.3)’; and
- Draft ASIC Corporations (Disclosure of Lack of Independence) Instrument 2020/XX, which sets ‘requirements for the written statement that discloses a lack of independence (Recommendation 2.2)’.
The instruments will not commence until the legislation takes effect. Comments close on 7 April 2020.
This article was written by Natalie Cambrell, Partner, Sanela Osmanovic, Senior Associate and Joseph Cheung, Solicitor.