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Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Page: 3654


Senator JACINTA COLLINS (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations) (15:57): I move:

That these bills be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speeches incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speeches read as follows—

SUPERANNUATION LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (STRONGER SUPER) BILL 2012

This bill introduces a framework to support the implementation of superannuation data and payment standards that will apply to specified superannuation transactions undertaken by superannuation entities and employers.

These amendments are part of the SuperStream package of measures designed to enhance the ‘back office’ of superannuation. The Superannuation industry is currently dominated by paper based transactions that are inefficient in both processing costs and the time taken for transactions to occur and superannuation to be deposited into member accounts.

Both members and employers will benefit from the changes. For example, fund members will benefit from being able to easily manage their superannuation accounts, have low value inactive accounts consolidated automatically, and easily check if their superannuation contributions have been paid.

Employers will benefit from having standardised simplified administrative processes when dealing with superannuation funds. Conversely, superannuation funds will benefit from standardised simplified administrative processes when dealing with employers and other funds.

It is estimated that the SuperStream proposals could save the industry up to $1 billion per year. Much of the benefit of these savings should flow through to members in the form of lower fees and charges.

The standards will be mandated for superannuation entities (including Approved Deposit Funds), Retirement Savings Account providers and for employers.

A new penalty framework is also introduced to ensure trustees of superannuation entities, RSA providers and employers comply with the standards.

This bill also enables the Commonwealth to collect the costs associated with the implementation of the SuperStream measures and enables the minister to make a determination that specifies the proportion of levy money paid to Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) that is to be credited to the APRA Special Account.

The cost of implementing the SuperStream reforms is $467 million in total over seven years to be paid for by a temporary SuperStream levy on APRA-regulated funds. If you averaged the full levy increase of $121 million to apply in 2012-13 across the approximate 33 million accounts existing today, the cost is roughly in the order of $4 per account.

Estimates undertaken by the superannuation industry have identified that SuperStream will save in the order of $1 billion each year in processing costs. Averaged over the approximate 33 million accounts existing today, this saving is in the order of $30 per account each year.

This is a significant saving for each and every member of a superannuation fund.

The coalition has acknowledged that the SuperStream measures have the potential to deliver real savings that will benefit superannuants and they support changes that make the superannuation system more efficient, transparent and competitive.

Full details of the measures in this bill are contained in the explanatory memorandum.

 

SUPERANNUATION SUPERVISORY LEVY IMPOSITION AMENDMENT BILL 2012

This bill provides the Treasurer with the ability to make a subsequent determination of the amount of the Superannuation Supervisory levy to be paid, for a financial year.

The Superannuation Supervisory levy will pay for implementation costs to improve the administration and management of super accounts making the processing of everyday transactions easier, cheaper and faster for both members and employers.

It is part of the 'SuperStream' package of measures designed to enhance the 'back office' processing of superannuation.

Key measures include the introduction of data and payment standards and consolidation of accounts.

Estimates undertaken by the superannuation industry have identified that SuperStream will save in the order of $1 billion each year in processing costs. Averaged over the approximate 33 million accounts existing today, this saving is in the order of $30 per account each year.

The cost of implementing the SuperStream reforms is $467 million in total over seven years to be paid for by a temporary SuperStream levy on APRA-regulated funds. If you averaged the full levy increase of $121 million to apply in 2012-13 across the approximate 33 million accounts existing today, the cost is roughly in the order of $4 per account.

This bill will provide the Treasurer increased flexibility in determining the maximum restricted and unrestricted levy amounts, the restricted and unrestricted levy percentages and the superannuation entity levy base to be used in finalising the levy amount.

Full details of the measure in this bill are contained in the explanatory memorandum.

Debate adjourned.