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Thursday, 17 February 2000
Page: 13860

Mr Kelvin Thomson asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 23 August 1999:

(1) Has his attention been drawn to a speech given by the Assistant Treasurer titled “The Government's approach to superannuation” on 28 May 1999 in Brisbane, where the Assistant Treasurer announced that the Government is committed to allow, by the year 2000, employees in accumulation funds to move their benefits between funds; if so, what measures are proposed and when will they be introduced into the Parliament.

(2) Did the Assistant Treasurer state that the Government had become aware that superannuation investment rules were being circumvented by some arrangements; if so, (a) of what arrangements is the Government aware, (b) when did the Government become aware of the arrangements and (c) what is the cost to Government revenue of the circumventing arrangements.

(3) Will the Government introduce legislation giving effect to proposals to allow the splitting of superannuation assets in the event of divorce; if so, when.

(4) Will funds with fewer than five members be allowed to invest up to 100 per cent of their assets in business premises leased to members or the employer-sponsor of the fund; if so, (a) what impact will the proposal have on the requirement for trustees to maintain a diversified investment strategy and (b) could the proposal see 100 per cent of a fund's assets invested in one particular asset.

Mr Costello (Treasurer) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes. The Government will provide details on this matter in due course.

(2) Yes. The issues relating to the new investment rules were outlined in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Superannuation Legislation Amendment Bill (No 4) 1999.

(3) Yes. Details will be provided in due course.

(4) Yes. The other requirements of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (the SIS Act) will still apply, including the requirement that trustees formulate an investment strategy that has regard to a range of relevant factors. Subject to the fund's investment strategy, the investment rules, and other requirements in the SIS Act, trustees have always had the option of placing a fund's assets in a single investment.