No new taxes on super welcomed
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 9:40pm

Superannuation representative groups have backed the federal government's decision to leave new taxes on super out of the 2015 budget but say there is further consultation ahead.

Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) chief executive, Pauline Vamos, said the community will be happy to see the government has kept its promise not to make any unexpected, detrimental changes once again.

"What we would like, however, is for them to consider reinstating the original timetable for the Super Guarantee increase to 12% and a long-term commitment to the Low Income Super Contribution (LISC)," she said.

"These two measures will make a world of difference to the amount of money people retire on, particularly those on lower incomes."

Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees chief executive, Tom Garcia, said superannuation must be in the current Tax Review.

Garcia also welcomed increased funding to the ATO which has an important role in superannuation as well as changes to provide improved access to super for the terminally ill.

From 1 July 2015, the federal Government will extend access to superannuation for people with a terminal medical condition. Currently, patients must have two medical practitioners - including a specialist - certify that they are likely to die within one year to gain unrestricted tax free access to their superannuation balance. The government will change this period to two years giving terminally ill patients earlier access to their superannuation.

"Improving access to super for the terminally ill is an important fairness measure that will allow more time for people to sort out their affairs or help pay for medical treatment," Garcia said.

In its budget the federal government plans to collect an additional $46.9 million in superannuation supervisory levies from the industry and Garcia said AIST remained concerned about a lack of transparency in the methodology behind the raising of levies.

"AIST will be seeking to consult with the government and treasury to ensure that cost recovery guidelines are applied in raising supervisory levies," he said.

The budget papers show the cost of super tax concessions is expected to rise to more than $50 billion by 2018-19,  and Garcia said AIST's submission to the Tax Review would be heavily focused on ensuring these concessions are well-targeted but also adequate enough to encourage savings.

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