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Thursday, 22 November 2012
Page: 9605


Senator CORMANN (Western Australia) (20:18): I move opposition amendment (5) on sheet 7277:

Schedule 1, item 9, page 12 (lines 1 to 15), omit subsection 29TB(2), substitute:

(2) An employer is a large employer in relation to a regulated superannuation fund if there are 500 or more employees of the employer, or an associate of the employer, at the time the beneficial interest in that class is first issued and at the end of each annual reporting period.

There were significant concerns expressed to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, which inquired into this bill, about the benchmark above which large employers can tailor funds for their employees. Provisions of the bill allow for such tailoring where the employer contributes to a fund on behalf of 500 or more members. Many participants in the superannuation industry submitted to the PJC inquiry that the threshold in its current form is complex, unworkable and may have a number of unintended consequences. The organisations expressing their concerns included the Financial Services Council, the Corporate Super Specialist Alliance, Mercer, and the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia—a broad cross-section of the industry, as you can see. This coalition amendment replaces the complex and unworkable threshold with a simple, easily quantifiable and effective test that defines the large employer threshold as an employer that has 500 or more employees at the relevant time. I commend the amendment to the Senate.