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Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Page: 13489


Mr RIPOLL (OxleyParliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer) (16:50): I present a supplementary explanatory memorandum to the bill and seek leave to move government amendments (1) to (7).

Leave granted.

Mr RIPOLL: I move:

(1) Clause 2, page 2 (table item 2), omit the table item, substitute:

2. Schedule 1, items 1 to 7

1 July 2013.

1 July 2013

3. Schedule 1, item 8

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

4. Schedule 2, items 1 to 5

1 July 2013.

1 July 2013

5. Schedule 2, item 6

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

6. Schedule 3, items 1, 2 and 3

1 July 2013.

1 July 2013

7. Schedule 3, item 4

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

8. Schedule 4, items 1 to 4

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

9. Schedule 4, items 5 and 6

30 December 2012.

30 

December 2012

10. Schedule 4, items 7 and 8

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

11. Schedule 5

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

(2) Schedule 1, page 4 (after line 25), after item 4, insert:

4A Subsection 69(3)

   After "sums of unclaimed moneys", insert "as at the end of the year".

(3) Schedule 1, page 4 (before line 26), before item 5, insert:

4B Subsection 69(3)

   Omit "higher", substitute "other".

(4) Schedule 1, item 8, page 5 (lines 10 to 13), omit the item, substitute:

8 Transitional—supplementary statement and payment obligations

(1) In addition to its effect apart from this subitem, section 69 of the Banking Act 1959 also has the effect it would have if:

   (a) in subsection 69(3) of that Act, the words "within 3 months after the 31 December in each year" were omitted and the words "before the end of 31 May 2013" were substituted; and

   (b) in subsection 69(3) of that Act, the words "as at the end of the applicable assessment day" were inserted after "sums of unclaimed moneys"; and

   (c) the amendments made by items 1, 2, 3, 4 and 4B of this Schedule had commenced on 31 December 2012; and

   (d) any regulations made, in accordance with section 4 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, for the purposes of any of the following provisions of the Banking Act 1959 had taken effect from the day on which the regulations are registered under the Legislative Instruments Act 2003:

      (i) paragraph 69(1)(b);

      (ii) paragraph 69(1)(d);

      (iii) subparagraph 69(1A)(b)(ii);

      (iv) subparagraph 69(1A)(b)(iv);

      (v) subparagraph 69(1A)(c)(ii);

      (vi) subsection 69(1B);

      (vii) subsection 69(1C);

      (viii) subsection 69(1D);

      (ix) subsection 69(1E);

      (x) subsection 69(3).

No double counting

(2) For the purposes of the application to an ADI of section 69 of the Banking Act 1959 (as that section has effect under subitem (1)), unclaimed moneys does not include any 7 year unclaimed amounts for the ADI.

(3) For the purposes of this item, if:

   (a) an amount is required to be set out in an ADI's statement under subsection 69(3) of the Banking Act 1959 (as that subsection has effect otherwise than under subitem (1)); and

   (b) the ADI is required, by subsection 69(3) of the Banking Act 1959 (as that subsection has effect otherwise than under subitem (1)), to deliver the statement to the Treasurer within 3 months after 31 December 2012;

the amount is a 7 year unclaimed amount for the ADI.

Applicable assessment day

(4) For the purposes of this item, the applicable assessment day for an ADI is:

   (a) 30 May 2013; or

   (b) if the ADI, by written notice given to the Treasurer before 30 May 2013, nominates a day that is:

   (i) not earlier than 31 December 2012; and

   (ii) not later than 29 May 2013;

      the nominated day.

(5) Schedule 2, page 7 (after line 7), at the end of the Schedule, add:

6 Transitional—supplementary statement and payment obligations

(1) In addition to their effect apart from this subitem, sections 51A to 51E of the First Home Saver Accounts Act 2008 also have the effect they would have if:

   (a) in paragraph 51A(1)(a) of that Act, the words "a calendar year" were omitted and the words "the applicable assessment day" were substituted; and

   (b) in paragraph 51A(1)(b) of that Act, the words "within 3 months after the end of the year" were omitted and the words "before the end of 31 May 2013" were substituted; and

   (c) in subsection 51A(4) of that Act, the words "the calendar year" were omitted and the words "the applicable assessment day" were substituted; and

   (d) the amendments made by items 1, 2 and 3 of this Schedule had commenced on 31 December 2012; and

   (e) any regulations made, in accordance with section 4 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, for the purposes of any of the following provisions of the First Home Saver Accounts Act 2008 had taken effect from the day on which the regulations are registered under the Legislative Instruments Act 2003:

   (i) subparagraph 17A(1)(a)(ii);

   (ii) subsection 17A(3);

   (iii) subsection 17A(4).

No double counting

(2) For the purposes of the application to an FHSA provider of sections 51A to 51E of the First Home Saver Accounts Act 2008 (as those sections have effect under subitem (1)), unclaimed money does not include any 7 year unclaimed amounts for the FHSA provider.

(3) For the purposes of this item, if:

   (a) an amount is required to be set out in an FHSA provider's statement under section 51A of the First Home Saver Accounts Act 2008 (as that section has effect otherwise than under subitem (1)); and

   (b) the FHSA provider is required, by section 51A of the First Home Saver Accounts Act 2008 (as that section has effect otherwise than under subitem (1)), to give the statement to ASIC within 3 months after the end of 31 December 2012;

the amount is a 7 year unclaimed amount for the FHSA provider.

Applicable assessment day

(4) For the purposes of this item, the applicable assessment day for an FHSA provider is:

   (a) 30 May 2013; or

   (b) if the FHSA provider, by written notice given to ASIC before 30 May 2013, nominates a day that is:

      (i) not earlier than 31 December 2012; and

      (ii) not later than 29 May 2013;

      the nominated day.

(6) Schedule 3, page 8 (after line 27), at the end of the Schedule, add:

4 Transitional—supplementary statement and payment obligations

(1) In addition to its effect apart from this subitem, section 216 of the Life Insurance Act 1995 also has the effect it would have if:

   (a) in subsection 216(1) of that Act, the words "Within 3 months after the end of each calendar year" were omitted and the words "Before the end of 31 May 2013" were substituted; and

   (b) in subsection 216(1) of that Act, the words "that year" were omitted and the words "the applicable assessment day" were substituted; and

   (c) in subsections 216(4) and (6) of that Act, the words "the calendar year" were omitted and the words "the applicable assessment day" were substituted; and

   (d) the amendment made by item 3 of this Schedule had commenced on 31 December 2012; and

   (e) any regulations made, in accordance with section 4 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, for the purposes of subparagraph (c)(ii) of the definition of unclaimed money in subsection 216(15) of the Life Insurance Act 1995 had taken effect from the day on which the regulations are registered under the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

No double counting

(2) For the purposes of the application to a life company of section 216 of the Life Insurance Act 1995 (as that section has effect under subitem (1)), unclaimed money does not include any 7 year unclaimed amounts for the life company.

(3) For the purposes of this item, if:

   (a) an amount is required to be set out in a life company's statement under subsection 216(1) of the Life Insurance Act 1995 (as that subsection has effect otherwise than under subitem (1)); and

   (b) the life company is required, by subsection 216(1) of the Life Insurance Act 1995 (as that subsection has effect otherwise than under subitem (1)), to give the statement to ASIC within 3 months after the end of 31 December 2012;

the amount is a 7 year unclaimed amount for the life company.

Applicable assessment day

(4) For the purposes of this item, the applicable assessment day for a life company is:

   (a) 30 May 2013; or

   (b) if the life company, by written notice given to ASIC before 30 May 2013, nominates a day that is:

      (i) not earlier than 31 December 2012; and

      (ii) not later than 29 May 2013;

      the nominated day.

(7) Schedule 4, page 11 (after line 11), at the end of the Schedule, add:

8 Transitional—scheduled statement day

Scope

(1) This item applies if an unclaimed money day is 31 December 2012.

Scheduled statement day

(2) Sections 24C and 24E of the Superannuation (Unclaimed Money and Lost Members) Act 1999 have effect as if the scheduled statement day for the unclaimed money day was 31 May 2013 instead of the day specified in the instrument under section 15A of that Act.

The Treasury Legislation Amendment (Unclaimed Money and Other Measures) Bill is intended to reunite Australians with their lost moneys faster and to protect lost moneys from inflation and fees. That is exactly what it does. The Senate Economics Committee has now considered the bill and the majority report made just one recommendation—that the bill be passed. The report found that the reforms will be of significant benefit to consumers, as they help reunite people with their unclaimed moneys sooner and protect the real value of that money while it remains unclaimed. Let me take this opportunity to make the point that the principles on which this bill is based have not changed. They are the same core principles, and it is the same piece of legislation and the same activity in terms of unclaimed and lost moneys as has been the case under previous governments, both Labor and Liberal. What we are doing is making sure it happens in a more timely fashion, ensuring that the real value of people's money is maintained and they reconnect with their money faster.

It is more than curious that the opposition will come into this place, move amendments and support this bill—and, in the end, they have to support this, because it is a good bill. In the end, they support the legislation; they support the principle of what is being done to assist consumers to be reunited with their lost accounts, of whatever form, whether superannuation or a life policy, a bank account or other type of account. So to delay any further would be an absolute travesty.

As I said in my summing up speech, we have consulted widely. We have had consultations with industry. We have agreed that there are some areas where the intent of the amendments can be clarified to improve certainty, and these issues can and will be dealt with through regulations.

Let me turn to some of the detail of these amendments. The government amendments will provide authorised deposit-taking institutions, First Home Saver Account providers, life insurers and superannuation funds with more time for implementation. They will now have until 31 May 2013 to report on and transfer lost accounts and other lost moneys to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission or the Australian tax office as appropriate.

In addition, to reflect the changing range of bank accounts available and their specific terms and conditions, the bill will also allow the government to specify additional requirements that must be met before a bank account will be treated as unclaimed moneys. This amendment will allow the government to improve certainty for industry by clarifying a number of technical issues through regulation.

As I announced yesterday, to avoid capturing accounts unintentionally the government will introduce regulations so that children's accounts will still need to be inactive for seven years before being treated as lost. In addition, regulations will specify that First Home Saver Accounts will be excluded until the requirement to make a deposit in four years has been met. The regulations will also clarify that term deposits remain excluded, and subaccounts will continue to be treated as part of a parent account when determining whether there has been activity on an account in the last three years. Linked accounts—that is, accounts that a customer must hold as a condition of holding other accounts with the same bank, building society or credit union—and mortgage offset accounts will be treated similarly. The regulations will also clarify that accounts that are frozen by a court order or other legal requirement will also be excluded while they remain frozen, and that the three-year inactivity period will restart when the freeze is lifted. The regulations will also clarify that superannuation accounts that have been active in the last 12 months but where the member is uncontactable will not be transferred to the ATO. The amendments include the ability to extend the protection from fees, charges and inflation that this bill will provide to a broader range of accounts with low balances, although, should future governments wish to do this, further disallowance regulations would need to be made.

This bill and these amendments relate specifically to doing a number of core things: reuniting Australians with their lost moneys faster, and protecting the value of those moneys from inflation and fees—and this is a good thing for consumers and should have been done much earlier. Simply to have sat on the core principle, which has not changed in terms of lost money, idly for so many years— (Time expired)