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Superannuation Legislation (Commonwealth Employment—Saving and Transitional Provisions) Bill 1998

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1997-1998

 

the parliament of the commonwealth of australia

 

house of representatives

 

superannuation legislation (commonwealth employment - saving and transitional provisions) bill 1997

 

explanatory memorandum

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by the authority of the Minister for Finance

 the Hon John J Fahey, MP)

 

11357 Cat. No. 97 1764 1 ISbn 0644 36811X



superannuation legislation (commonwealth employment - saving and transitional provisions) amendment bill 1997

general outline

The purpose of this Bill is to make savings and transitional provisions arising out of amendments to, and subsequent repeals of, five Acts by the Superannuation Legislation (Commonwealth Employment) Repeal and Amendment Bill 1997   (the Amendment Bill) and the introduction of the Commonwealth Superannuation Board Bill 1997 (the Board Bill).

The five particular Acts dealt with by the Amendment Bill are the Superannuation  Act 1922 (the 1922 Act), the Superannuation Act 1976 (the 1976 Act), the Superannuation Act 1990 (the 1990 Act), the Superannuation (Productivity Benefit) Act 1988 (the PB Act) and the Papua New Guinea (Staffing Assistance) Act 1973 (the PNG Act).  

Transitional and savings amendments in respect of past actions

Amendments proposed by the Amendment Bill to the 1976 and 1990 Acts together with the proposed Board Bill include the effect of combining the CSS and PSS Boards into one Board to be known as the Commonwealth Superannuation Board (the CS Board).  The CS Board will have the responsibility of managing both the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (the CSS) and the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme (the PSS).   Provisions of this Bill will ensure that the        CS Board will be able to take over the activities of the CSS and PSS Boards and that all previous actions of the two Boards will be taken to be actions of the CS Board.

Amendments proposed by the Amendment Bill to the PNG Act together with the proposed Board Bill have the effect of transferring responsibility for the superannuation and retirement income provisions of the PNG Act to the CS Board. This Bill will ensure that all previous actions in relation to that administration will be taken to have been actions of the CS Board.

Other savings in respect of amended and repealed provisions

Certain other amendments included in the Amendment Bill will amend and repeal specific provisions in the 1976 Act in order to simplify the administrative processes necessary for the CSS, or to restore the original intention of certain provisions.  Provisions in the Bill will protect members taking action under the repealed provisions when the amending Bill comes into effect.  For example, certain persons who have appealed decisions by the Commissioner for Superannuation to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal prior to 1 July 1998, will be able to continue with that appeals process even though any decisions of the Commissioner will be taken to be decisions of the CS Board after that date.

Savings of repealed Acts in relation to members and others entitled to benefits

The Amendment Bill will repeal the 1922 Act, the 1976 Act, the 1990 Act, the PB Act and the provisions from the PNG Act that relate to superannuation and retirement income for persons covered by that Act.  This Bill will save the provisions of that legislation in relation to all persons who were covered by the legislation immediately prior to the repeals to ensure no disadvantage to individuals as a result of the repeal.  For example, persons receiving, or entitled in the future to, benefits under the repealed Acts will still be able to receive those benefits on the same terms as under the repealed Acts.

Financial Impact Statement

This Bill has no financial impact.



terms used in notes on clauses

"1922 Act"  means the Superannuation Act 1922 ;

"1976 Act"  means the Superannuation Act 1976 ;

"1990 Act"  means the Superannuation Act 1990 ;

"Amendment Bill"  means the Superannuation Legislation (Commonwealth Employment) Repeal and Amendment Bill 1997

"APS" means the Australian Public Service;

"Board Bill" means the Commonwealth Superannuation Board Bill 1997;

"Commissioner"  means the Commissioner for Superannuation;

"CS Board"  means the Commonwealth Superannuation Board as provided for in the Commonwealth Superannuation Board Bill 1997

"CSS"  means the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme;

"CSS member"  is used to describe a person who makes personal contributions to  the CSS (the 1976 Act uses the term "eligible employee" for such a person);

"PNG Act"  means the Papua New Guinea (Staffing Assistance) Act 1973 ;

"PB Act"  means the Superannuation (Productivity Benefit) Act 1988 ;

"PSS"  means the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme;

"PSS Rules"  means the rules for the administration of the PSS;

"SIS"  means the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 and regulations under that Act

"Supervisory Mechanisms Act"  means the Superannuation Benefits (Supervisory Mechanisms) Act 1990 ;

 

 



notes on clauses

part 1 preliminary

Clause 1 - Short title

Clause 1 provides that the short title of the Act is to be the Superannuation Legislation (Commonwealth Employment - Saving and Transitional Provisions) Act 1997.

Clause 2 - Commencement

2.     Clause 2 provides that the Act commences on 1 July 1998.  Part 3 commences at the same time as Schedule 2 to the Amendment Bill, Part 5 commences at the same time as Schedule 4 to that Bill and Part 8 commences as the same time as Part 8 to that Bill.

Clause 3 - Definition

3.     Clause 3 defines the Commonwealth Superannuation Board.

part 2 - provisions consequential on amendments of the superannuation act 1976 made by part 1 of schedule 1 to the superannuation legislation (commonwealth employment) repeal and amendment act 1997

Clause 4 - Transitional provision relating to annual report and financial statements of the CSS Board and the Commissioner

4.     Sections 161, 161A and 162 of the 1976 Act required the CSS Board and the Commissioner to provide reports on administration and, in the case of the CSS Board, financial statements in connection with their functions under the 1976 Act and the 1922 Act respectively.  Those provisions are to be repealed by the Amendment Bill and the Board Bill will require the CS Board to provide similar reports and financial statements in relation to the 1976 and 1922 Acts after their repeal.

5.     Clause 4 provides that section 161, 161A and 162 of the 1976 Act will continue to apply, despite their repeal, in respect of financial years commencing before their repeal.  Any obligations under those sections should be performed by the CS Board after the date of repeal and any reference to the performance of the functions of the CSS Board includes a reference to anything done during a financial year that is taken, by clause 7 of this Act, to have been done by the CS Board.

Clause 5 - Saving of modifications under section 14A of the 1976 Act

6.     Section 14A of the 1976 Act provides for the modification, by regulation, of the 1976 Act in relation to a person to whom the section applies.  The Amendment Bill repeals the section with effect from 1 July 1998.

7.     Clause 5 provides that the modifications made under section 14A of the 1976 Act continue to apply, despite the repeal of that section, to the persons to whom the modifications applied at the time the section was repealed.

Clause 6 - Saving of pending applications to Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

8.     Section 154 of the 1976 Act provides access to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (the AAT) for CSS members and other persons who are dissatisfied with decisions made by the Commissioner under this Act as it applied before 1 July 1994 and under the 1922 Act.  The statutory office of the Commissioner is to be abolished from 1 July 1998 by the Amending Bill and any decisions made by the Commissioner prior to that date under the 1976 or 1922 Acts will be taken, under clause 7 or clause 14 of this Bill, to have been done by the CS Board.  Decisions made by the CS Board will not be able to be reviewed by the AAT as SIS will require such decisions to be reviewed by the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.  The Amendment Bill repeals section 154.

9.     However, there may be individuals who have applied to the AAT for review of a decision prior to 1 July 1998 and those appeals may not have been finalised at that date.

10. Clause 6 provides that, where a person has applied to the AAT for review a decision of the Commissioner prior to 1 July 1998 under section 154 of the 1976 Act, that review may continue to be heard by the AAT as if section 154 had not been repealed.

Clause 7 -Actions by former authorities to be taken to be actions of the CS Board

11.The Amendment Bill and the Board Bill together provide for the CS Board to take over all functions of the CSS Board, and the Commissioner, from 1 July 1998.

12. Clause 7 provides that any actions taken by the CSS Board and the Commissioner (or their delegates) prior to 1 July 1998 should be taken to have been done by the CS Board.  The clause further provides that anything done to, or in respect of, the CSS Board or the Commissioner under the 1976 Act or its regulations prior to 1 July 1998 is taken to have been done to, or in respect of, the CS Board.

part 3 - provisions consequential on the repeal of the superannuation act 1976

Clause 8 - Repealed Act to continue to apply in respect of certain people

13.The Amendment Bill repeals the 1976 Act from 1 July 1998.

14. Clause 8 provides that the repealed Act, all the regulations and any other instruments under that Act as well as the provisions of Part 2 of this Act, continue to apply in all aspects to all persons who were in receipt of benefits under the Act or would have been entitled in the future to benefits under the Act as if it had not been repealed.

15.This provision is intended to cover all existing contributing members under the Act, all persons who have preserved entitlements under the Act, all persons who have a residual right to return to membership of the CSS or resume contributing, all persons who are in receipt of continuing benefits or have a right to such benefits and all persons who may be entitled to reversionary benefits because of their relationships with the those other persons.  This has the effect of continuing the operation of the CSS Fund (which contains contributions paid by, or in respect of, such persons) and all matters concerning the Fund and the obligations of employers of such persons.

16.The clause also ensures that any reference in any law of the Commonwealth to the 1976 Act, any of its provisions or regulations or instruments under the Act, to be a reference to the repealed Act, its provisions, regulations or instruments.

Part 4 - Provisions consequential on amendments to the 1990 act

Clause 9- Transitional provision relating to annual report and financial statements of the CSS Board and the Commissioner

17.Section 28 of the 1990 Act requires the PSS Board to provide reports on administration and financial statements in connection with its functions under the 1990 Act.  That provision is to be repealed by the Amendment Bill and the Board Bill will require the CS Board to provide similar reports and financial statements in relation to the 1990 Act after its repeal.

18. Clause 9 provides that section 28 of the 1990 Act will continue to apply, despite its repeal, in respect of financial years commencing before their repeal.  Any obligations under those sections should be performed by the CS Board after the date of repeal and any reference to the performance of the functions of the PSS Board includes a reference to anything done during a financial year that is taken to have been done by the CS Board.

Clause 10 -Actions by former authorities to be taken to be actions of the CS Board

19.The Amendment Bill and the Board Bill together provide for the CS Board to take over all functions of the PSS Board from 1 July 1998.

20. Clause 10 provides that any actions taken by the PSS Board (or its delegates) prior to 1 July 1998 should be taken to have been done by the CS Board.  The clause further provides that anything done to, or in respect of, the PSS Board under or for the purposes of the 1990 Act or the PSS Trust Deed prior to 1 July 1998 is taken to have been done to, or in respect of the CS Board.

part 5 - provisions consequential on the repeal of the superannuation act 1990

Clause 11 - Definition

21. Clause 11 provides for definitions of terms used in this Part.

Clause 12- Repealed Act to continue to apply in respect of certain people

22.The Amendment Bill repeals the 1990 Act from 1 July 1998.

23. Clause 12 provides that the repealed Act, all the regulations, including the Trust Deed and Part 4 of this Act and any other instruments under that Act, continue to apply in all aspects to all persons who were in receipt of benefits under the Act or would have been entitled in the future to benefits under the Act as if it had not been repealed.

24.This provision is intended to cover all existing contributing members under the Act, all persons who have preserved entitlements under the Act, all persons who have a residual right to return to membership of the PSS or resume contributing, all persons who are in receipt of continuing benefits or have a right to such benefits and all persons who may be entitled to reversionary benefits because of their relationships with the those other persons.  This has the effect of continuing the operation of the PSS Fund (which contains contributions paid by, or in respect of, such persons) and all matters concerning the Fund and the obligations of employers of such persons.

25.The clause also ensures that any reference in any law of the Commonwealth to the 1990 Act, any of its provisions or regulations or instruments under the Act, to be a reference to the repealed Act, its provisions, regulations or instruments.

part 6 - provisions consequential on the repeal of the 1922 Act

Clause 13- Repealed Act to continue to apply in respect of certain people

26.The Amendment Bill repeals the 1922 Act from 1 July 1998.

27. Clause 13 provides that the repealed Act, all the regulations and any other instruments under that Act, continues to apply in all aspects to all persons who were in receipt of benefits under the Act or would have been entitled in the future to benefits under the Act as if it had not been repealed.

28.This provision is intended to cover all persons who all persons who are in receipt of continuing benefits or have a right to such benefits, all persons who have preserved entitlements under the Act and all persons who may be entitled to reversionary benefits because of their relationships with the those other persons.

Clause 14 -Actions by former authorities to be taken to be actions of the CS Board

29.The Amendment Bill and the Board Bill together provide for the CS Board to take over all functions of the  Commissioner under the 1922 Act from 1 July 1998.

30. Clause 14 provides that any actions taken by the Superannuation Board (which administered the 1922 Act before 1 July 1976) or the Commissioner (or their delegates) prior to 1 July 1998 should be taken to have been done by the CS Board.  The clause further provides that anything done to, or in respect of, the Superannuation Board or the Commissioner prior to 1 July 1998 is taken to have been done to, or in respect of, the CS Board.

PART 7 ­- PROVISIONS CONSEQUENTIAL ON THE AMENDMENT OF THE SUPERANNUATION (PRODUCTIVITY BENEFIT) ACT 1988

Clause 15 ­- Saving of existing declarations and determinations by Minister

31. Clause 15 provides that the rates of continuing contributions and interest factors, including penalty interest on late payments of contributions to a fund, determined by the Minister under the Productivity Benefit Act before its repeal continue to apply as if they had been made by the Commonwealth Superannuation Board in accordance with methods of calculation advised to the Board by the Minister.  This item also provides that any declarations made by the Minister in relation to the coverage of certain Commonwealth employees under the Productivity Benefit Act continue to apply as if made by the Board.

PART 8 ­- PROVISIONS CONSEQUENTIAL ON THE REPEAL OF THE SUPERANNUATION (PRODUCTIVITY BENEFIT) ACT 1988

Clauses 16 and 17 ­- Repealed Productivity Benefit Act to continue to apply to certain employees

32.These clauses contain savings provisions that will continue to provide coverage under the existing arrangements under the Productivity Benefit Act before its repeal for persons who:

a)   were in Commonwealth employment as at 30 June 1998 and should have had contributions paid on their behalf by their employer under the Act at any time up to that date, but no such contributions were paid; or

b)   had ceased Commonwealth employment before 1 July 1998 and contributions that should have been paid by their employer had not been paid before they left employment during any period up to 30 June 1998; or

c)   had ceased Commonwealth employment before 1 July 1998 and an ‘interim benefit’, as defined under the Act, that should have been paid by their employer had not been paid before that date.

33.Certain persons in Commonwealth employment who are covered by the Productivity Benefit Act on 30 June 1998 may be disadvantaged if they were to be covered by the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 (the SG Act) after that date.  This could occur, for instance, if they were earning less than $450 a month or they were part-time employees under 18 years of age.  The savings will ensure that such persons are not disadvantaged during their current term of employment.  If they are re-employed after 30 June 1998 and after their current term expires, they would cease to be covered by the current arrangements in the Productivity Benefit Act and would commence to be covered by the SG Act, like any new employee.

Clause 17 -Actions by former authorities to be taken to be actions of the CS Board

34.The Amendment Bill and the Board Bill together provide for the CS Board to administer the PB Act from 1 July 1998.

35. Clause 17 provides that any actions taken by former authorities under that Act prior to 1 July 1998 should be taken to have been done by the CS Board.  The clause further provides that anything done to, or in respect of, the former authorities under that Act prior to 1 July 1998 is taken to have been done to, or in respect of, the CS Board.

part 9 - provisions consequential on the amendment of the pNG act

Clause 19 - Definitions

36. Clause 19 defines terms used in this Part.

Clause 20 - Repealed Act to continue to apply in respect of certain people

37.The Amendment Bill repeals provisions of the PNG Act that provide for the payment of pensions under that Act from 1 July 1998.

38. Clause 20 provides that the repealed provisions of the Act continues to apply in all aspects to all persons who were in receipt of benefits under the Act or would have been entitled in the future to benefits under the Act as if it had not been repealed.

39.This provision is intended to cover all persons who all persons who are in receipt of continuing benefits or have a right to such benefits, all persons who have preserved entitlements under the Act and all persons who may be entitled to reversionary benefits because of their relationships with the those other persons.

Clause 21 -Actions by former authorities to be taken to be actions of the CS Board

40.The Amendment Bill and the Board Bill together provide for the CS Board to administer the PNG Act from 1 July 1998.

41. Clause 21 provides that any actions taken by former authorities under that Act prior to 1 July 1998 should be taken to have been done by the CS Board.  The clause further provides that anything done to, or in respect of, the former authorities under that Act prior to 1 July 1998 is taken to have been done to, or in respect of, the CS Board.