This year continues to provide a challenging economic environment for employers. Thankfully, federal and state governments are providing a number of support measures to help employers and stimulate the economy. Take a look at our summary of super legislation changes and news for an explanation of the potential impacts these developments may have on your business.
News from the last few months includes the Federal Budget 2020, JobKeeper Payment’s second phase and the conclusion of the ATO’s Super Guarantee (SG) amnesty. Explore more information on these updates below.
Super legislation changes and updates
Federal Budget 2020
This year’s budget focused firmly on initiatives to create jobs for Australians and rebuild the economy, following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several proposals were aimed at making super work harder for members, including:
- The introduction of a new super comparison tool
- An annual performance test for super funds
- Super stapling, where a single super account will follow you from job to job.
JobKeeper Payment available until March 2021
Extended until 28 March 2021, JobKeeper Payment remains in place to help employers keep staff. Eligible employers can apply for JobKeeper for full-time and part-time employees under two tiers of payment and stepped-down payment rates.
Eligibility is now based on actual turnover, not projected turnover as was the case in the scheme’s first phase. For more information about the new JobKeeper turnover tests, visit ato.gov.au
Super Guarantee amnesty winds up
According to the ATO, around 24,000 employers took advantage of the amnesty to pay previously unpaid super, resulting in almost $600 million going into the accounts of nearly 400,000 employees around Australia.
Now that the SG amnesty period has closed, employers with unpaid super should advise the ATO through the standard lodgement process for late payments and pay the SG charge.
The introduction of Single Touch Payroll gives the ATO greater visibility of businesses that may be behind in payments.
Your Super, Your Choice legislation now law
Employees hired under workplace determinations and enterprise agreements made on or after 1 January 2021 (previously 1 July 2020) can now choose their own super fund for employer contributions.
If you find yourself paying your SG contributions into multiple accounts, think about using the QuickSuper  clearing house, which 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 work test and spouse contributions
From this financial year, members can make voluntary concessional or non-concessional contributions up to age 67 years (previously 65) without meeting the work test. The age limit for spouse contributions has also been lifted - from 70 to 75.
There is also a proposal before Parliament to extend the bring-forward rule to permit members aged 65 and 66 to make up to 3 years of non-concessional contributions. For more information about the changes, visit ato.gov.au
Super Fund of the Year 2020
AustralianSuper was named Super Fund of the Year 2020 at the recent Super Review Awards. The Fund also won Best Industry Fund and Best Pension Product awards.
Entries were assessed according to a range of metrics, including trustee leadership, investment performance, value for money, and member servicing.
The awards come just a few months after the Fund was voted Australia’s most trusted super fund in Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey, where over 3,000 Australians voted for brands they trust most.
At our recent Annual Member Meeting (AMM), AustralianSuper experts presented SuperTalks webinars on a wide range of topics to help members make the most of their super, whatever their stage of life. The session recordings are available for anyone to watch and can be useful to share with your employees.WATCH: ANNUAL MEMBER MEETING WRAP-UP AND SUPERTALK SEMINARS
Positive returns for members in uncertain times
AustralianSuper’s 0.52% return for the Balanced option for the financial year to 30 June 2020 was a good result given current investment market volatility and economic uncertainty2.
Economic recovery will take time and there will be ups and downs. Our 170-strong investment team will continue to monitor the outlook to make investment decisions that aim to deliver the best possible long-term returns.
Investment fee drop means a saving for members
A recent decrease in AustralianSuper’s investment fee on the Balanced option means a member with a $50,000 account balance will see a $50 reduction in their annual fee costs. The investment fee on the Balanced option for the year to 30 June 2020 dropped to 0.50% of a member’s account balance, from the previous year’s 0.60%3.READ MORE: YOUR INVESTMENT OPTIONS
Protecting members’ information
Safeguarding members’ super accounts and personal information is a priority for AustralianSuper and we’ve put in place a range of measures to protect members from identity theft or email and SMS scams.
Visit our Keeping your super safe page for information about important steps that can reduce the risk of identity theft. You can also check out our tips on how to protect yourself, what to do if you think your account is at risk and how to register for the government’s scam alert services.
Updates for employers
We regularly update our COVID-19 web page to keep you up to date as the business landscape changes due to the pandemic.
Visit our Support for Business page for more information on legislative changes, improved services and government assistance for employers. There’s also a wide range of COVID-19 business-related resources available.
SuperMatch 2 makes account consolidation simple
The ATO’s updated SuperMatch2 function helps funds like AustralianSuper consolidate members’ super savings.
After receiving a request from a super fund acting on behalf of a member, SuperMatch2 searches ATO records to find lost super accounts and pay any ATO-held super money into the member’s chosen account. The newly located super accounts can then be consolidated on a member’s behalf.
To find out more about the SuperMatch service, visit ato.gov.au
Tools to support your team
Grief Support Service for employees in need
A Grief Support Service is available for members of AustralianSuper who are insured with TAL. The service aims to help individuals and their immediate family members work through the grief process associated with the death of a loved one or terminal illness diagnosis.
If you have staff who may need this service, we encourage them to contact their claims case manager to find out if they are eligible.
When it comes to super, a little learning can go a long way in boosting your confidence. We’ve introduced free webinars to help members stay informed about super and retirement.
To register to attend an upcoming session or watch a recorded presentation, visit our Education and webinars page.
Super Projection Calculator
Our Super Projection Calculator is a useful tool for members to estimate their retirement income needs, find out how long their super could last and see the benefit of adding to your super early. We’ve also updated it to show how early drawdown can affect super savings.CHECK OUT THE SUPER PROJECTION CALCULATOR
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.