Legislative update and Employer news – September 2020

Over the past 6 months, employers have adapted rapidly to a changed business environment. This update of legislative changes and super news provides an overview of recent developments and potential impacts on business.

September updates include super obligations around JobKeeper, the passing of the government’s Your Super and Your Choice legislation, plus links to online learning resources to pass on to your employees.

 

Managing COVID-19

JobKeeper Payment extended to March 2021

The government’s wage subsidy program, JobKeeper, has helped many employers keep their staff on the books.

Originally due to finish on 27 September 2020, the scheme will run for another six months through to 28 March 2021 with a lower payment rate and different eligibility criteria. To qualify, you’ll need to show that actual GST turnover has significantly declined (rather than projected GST turnover).

The ATO has information about the latest changes.

No increase to SG contributions for employees on JobKeeper

Some of your employees’ wages may be higher under JobKeeper, but their Super Guarantee contributions will remain at the pre-JobKeeper level. SG payments for employees who earn more than $1500 a fortnight (with JobKeeper making up part of their earnings) will still be calculated according to their earnings.

READ MORE: FAQS ON GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE FOR BUSINESS

Support for employers in a changing environment

The AustralianSuper COVID-19 web page is regularly updated as the business landscape changes. Visit the employer page to read about legislative changes, improved services and government assistance for employers. There’s also a wide range of COVID-19 business-related resources available.  

Online learning for your employees

The AustralianSuper education team holds regular webinars to help you stay informed about super and insurance. The sessions cover a range of topics including COVID-19 temporary early access to super, help with retrenchment, financial security for women and retirement planning.

LEARN MORE: REGISTER FOR A WEBINAR

Stay connected

AustralianSuper can also connect you with a qualified financial adviser who can provide advice of a range of topics to help your staff improve and manage your financial situation. Our advice options include phone advice in relation to your existing AustralianSuper account or more comprehensive advice with a financial adviser in person, via video conferencing or over the phone, depending on your preference and location.  Please note, fees may apply for personal advice.   

READ MORE: SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS – COVID-19

Temporary early release of super helps members when they need it

The second round of early release of super is underway and eligible members, including sole traders, can access up to $10,000 in the 2020/21 financial year by applying through myGov before 31 December 2020.

Check the eligibility criteria carefully before applying - the ATO warns that providing false or misleading information could result in penalties of more than $12,000 for each false and misleading statement.

READ MORE: TEMPORARY EARLY ACCESS TO SUPER

Legislative updates for business

The expansion of super fund choice is now law

Under the Treasury Laws Amendment (Your Superannuation, Your Choice), employees under enterprise agreements or workplace determinations can choose their own super fund for employer contributions.

If you find yourself paying contributions into multiple accounts, consider using the QuickSuper clearing house1, which is free for employers and lets you make one super payment for all your employees, no matter which super fund they belong to.

READ MORE: WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A CLEARING HOUSE

Changes to the work test and spouse contribution from 1 July 2020

Members can now make voluntary concessional or non-concessional contributions up until 67 years (previously 65) without meeting the work test. In addition, the age limit for spouse contributions has lifted from 70 to 75.

A proposed extension to the bring-forward rule to allow members aged 65 and 66 to make up to three years of non-concessional contributions remains before Parliament and is not yet law.

Opt-in insurance for under 25s and low balance accounts

The Federal Government’s Putting Members’ Interests First (PMIF) legislation provides a fairer system of opt-in insurance for members who are under 25 years old, and/or have an account balance below $6,000.

New members whose balance hasn’t reached $6,000 can apply for basic cover to start or additional cover through to take up AustralianSuper’s new member offer within 120 days of joining the fund.

FIND OUT MORE: PUTTING MEMBERS’ INTERESTS FIRST

Super news

Choose Australia’s most trusted superannuation brand

For the eighth year in a row, AustralianSuper has been voted Australia’s most trusted super fund in the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey. The independent survey is undertaken by Catalyst Research, with 3000 Australians casting their vote on the brands they trust most.

Balanced option returns makes AustralianSuper an industry leader

AustralianSuper’s Balanced option was the top performing super fund over 5, 10 and 15 years to 30 June 2020 in the SuperRatings survey2. The fund’s return of 0.52% for the financial year to 30 June 2020 was a good result given current investment market volatility and economic uncertainty.

Our 170-strong investment team continues to monitor the outlook to make investment decisions that aim to deliver the best possible long-term returns.

FIND OUT MORE: AUSTRALIANSUPER’S PERFORMANCE

Investment fee decrease

AustralianSuper’s Investment fee on the Balanced option for the year to 30 June 2020 dropped to 0.50% of a member’s account balance, lower than the previous year’s fee of 0.60%.

For a member with a $50,000 account balance in the Balanced option, this means a $50 reduction in annual fee costs. The Investment fee is calculated looking back as at 30 June each year and is likely to change from year to year.

LEARN MORE: AUSTRALIANSUPER’S LOW SUPER FEES

Find out how much you need to retire and how an early drawdown can affect your super

Our Super Projection Calculator is a useful tool to work out your retirement income needs, find out how long your super could last and see the benefit of adding to super early. 

We’ve also recently updated the calculator to show how to show how accessing your super early can impact your super savings and final retirement income.

LEARN MORE: SUPER CALCULATOR

Source:

  1. QuickSuper is a financial service provided by Westpac and isn’t the responsibility of AustralianSuper. Terms and conditions apply. Visit quicksuper.westpac.com.au to learn more.
  2. Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

This information is general financial advice which doesn’t take into account your personal objectives, situation or needs. Before making a decision about AustralianSuper, you should think about your financial requirements and refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement. AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788, Trustee of AustralianSuper ABN 65 714 394 898. 

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