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Monday, 25 October 2010
Page: 677

Senator LUDWIG (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) (7:46 PM) —I thank Senator Cormann for his contribution. The amendment contained in schedule 1 will allow both state and territory authorities and public sector superannuation schemes to transfer unclaimed superannuation to the ATO. This will make it easier for individuals to track down unclaimed superannuation that they may have. Individuals will, of course, be able to claim back their money from the tax office at any time.

Schedule 2 provides transitional relief to superannuation funds by amending the tax law to allow funds to claim a broad reduction for total and permanent disability premiums. The transitional relief applies from the 2004-05 income year to the 2010-11 income year.

Schedule 3 amends the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 to allow superannuation fund trustees to acquire an asset from a related party of the fund following the relationship breakdown of a fund member. This change will ensure that separating partners will have the option of obtaining a clean break from one another in terms of their superannuation affairs if they so wish.

Schedule 4 makes a number of minor amendments relating to: deductions notices for successive funds; deductions for employer contributions made on behalf of former employees; the due date for shortfall interest charged in relation to excess contributions tax; allowing the Commissioner of Taxation to exercise discretion without issuing an excess contribution tax assessment; providing a regulation-making power to specify the circumstances when a benefit from a public sector superannuation scheme will have an untaxed element; and streamlining the reference to ‘Immigration Secretary’ and ‘Immigration Department’. These amendments will ensure the continued smooth operation of the superannuation provisions of the income tax law. This bill deserves the support of the House. I commend the bill to the Senate.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.