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Wednesday, 23 March 1994
Page: 2109


Senator SHERRY (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy) (6.07 p.m.) —by leave—I move:

No.13-Clause 78, page 36, lines 2 to 5, omit the clause, substitute the following clause:

Object of Division

  "78. The object of this Division is to allow employers in the maritime industry who contribute to the Seafarers' Retirement Fund to use the notional earnings base.".

No.14-Clause 79, page 36, lines 6 to 16, omit the clause, substitute the following clauses:

Interpretation: notional earnings base where employer contributing to superannuation fund for benefit of employee immediately before 21 August 1991

  "79. Section 13 of the Principal Act is amended by inserting after paragraph (a) of the definition of `reference earnings' in subsection (5) the following paragraph:

`(aa)if the employer is contributing for the benefit of the employee in relation to a contribution period to the superannuation fund known as the Seafarers' Retirement Fund that was established by a trust deed on 3 May 1973—the benchmark rate stated in the trust deed; and'.

Insertion of new section

  "79A. After section 13 of the Principal Act the following section is inserted:

Interpretation: notional earnings base where employer contributing to Seafarers' Retirement Fund

  `13A.(1) This section deals with the meaning of the expression "notional earnings base" in relation to an employee if:

(a)an employer is contributing for the benefit of the employee in relation to a contribution period to the superannuation fund known as the Seafarers' Retirement Fund that was established by a trust deed on 3 May 1973; and

(b)the employer was not so contributing immediately before 21 August 1991; and

(c)section 13 would apply in relation to the employee if the employer had been so contributing immediately before that date.

  `(2) The expression "notional earnings base" has, in relation to the employee, the same meaning as in section 13.'.

Application of amendments

  "79B. The amendments made by sections 79 and 79A have effect as if those sections had commenced on 1 July 1992, immediately after the commencement of the Principal Act.'.".

The bill will be amended to ensure that all employers in the maritime industry who contribute to the seafarers' retirement fund are able to use the benchmark rate specified in the fund's trust deed as a notional earnings base for superannuation guarantee purposes. The amendment, which has industry support, applies from 1 July 1992 and has no revenue implications. Existing clause 78 will be omitted and replaced by a new clause 78 so that the purpose of the amendments is more correctly described.

  The amendments to clause 79 are the substantive amendments to give effect to this change. The proposed amendment omitting the existing clause and substituting the new clause will ensure that employers in the maritime industry who contribute to the seafarers' retirement fund use the notional earnings base.

  Amendments agreed to.

  Clauses agreed to.

  Clauses 80 and 81—by leave—taken together.