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Labor won't support YFYS Bill in current form

Labor senators' dissenting report on Your Future, Your Super reforms published yesterday says the opposition can't recommend the Bill passes in its current form for reasons including its rushed start date.

Senate Economics Legislation released its final report on YFYS reforms yesterday, a week later than initially planned. In the meantime, the Liberal government has released draft regulation for the reforms, incorporating two of the many demands from the industry: inclusion of administration fees and unlisted local assets in the performance benchmarking. However, the government is still sticking to other contested measures such as July 1 start date, stapling's pre-dating of performance testing, and the Best Financial Interest Duty.

In the committee's final report, Labor took issue with seven main features of the Bill: power to the Treasurer to override superannuation trustee's investment or payment decisions, stapling to underperforming funds, inadequate insurance for some Australian worked, exclusion of some super products from the APRA test, flawed performance testing, Best Financial Interest Duty's administrative burden, and stapling-induced administrative burden for employers.

"Labor Senators cannot recommend passage of the bill in its current form. We encourage the government to reconsider the issues raised by stakeholders, and revise the bill before returning it to Parliament," Labor senators said in the report, listing their recommendation as "bill not be passed".

Labor said it supports the overall intention, but raised concerns about the Bill as a whole.

"It should be noted that this bill delegates significant power to legislative instruments. As the government has only released partial draft regulations for this bill on the day [28 April] before this report is due to be finalised [29 April], it is impossible for the committee to fully assess the impacts of the bill on the superannuation system," Labor said.

"It should be noted that the Chair [Liberal senator Slade Brockman] of this committee previously recommended that regulations should be presented in a timely fashion so the Senate is able to review legislation as a whole. The Senate should note that this did not occur."

Previously, a spokesperson for the Brockman said the one-week delay in release of the report was "more logistical than technical". She said Brockman had hearings for other committees all last week, and that Labor has changed its deputy chair on the committee to Anthony Chisholm.

Read more: Your Future, Your Super