The Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer announced the review of the provision of pensions in small superannuation funds on 5 August 2004 (Appendix C). The terms of reference are at the start of the discussion paper.
In accordance with the terms of reference, Treasury is conducting the review, along with a representative from the Australian Government Actuary’s Office.
The terms of reference stipulate six key tasks:
- review the provision of pensions in small superannuation funds;
- address the following concerns with the provision of defined benefit
pensions in small superannuation funds:
- access to unintended tax and social security benefits, particularly from the use of ‘RBL compression’;
- their use for estate planning purposes in the superannuation system outside what was intended and not available to other superannuation fund members; and
- whether a small number of members can effectively pool risk and guarantee income payments over the term of the pension;
- examine options for small superannuation funds to provide pensions
to their members, including;
- design features of prospective pensions that address the Government’s concerns and that could attract complying status for taxation and social security purposes;
- management of investment, liquidity and mortality risks; and
- likely future demand for pensions with defined benefit characteristics;
- develop and release a discussion paper that outlines key issues and canvasses options;
- consult with industry and other stakeholders, superannuation regulators and the Department of Family and Community Services, both before and after release of the discussion paper; and
- report to Government by April 2005.
The review is directed at defined benefit pensions and other pensions that small superannuation funds provide. A small superannuation fund for the purposes of this review has fewer than 50 members.
The review will take into account the defined benefit pension integrity measures announced in the 2004-05 Budget. However, the review has not been asked to consider other superannuation integrity measures announced in the 2004-05 Budget (for example, the requirements that accumulation funds allocate all contributions to a member’s account and fully vest benefits in a given member) or other measures affecting small superannuation funds.
An initial round of consultation, involving taking initial submissions from interested parties, has helped Treasury in developing this discussion paper. These initial submissions are posted on the review’s website (see below) except where consent to make them publicly available has not been obtained.
Consistent with the terms of reference, the discussion paper outlines key issues with pensions in small funds and canvasses strategies to address the issues.
The paper is intended to help individuals and organisations prepare further submissions to the review, drawing attention to key issues on which the review is seeking comment.
After Treasury receives the next round of submissions, the review team may convene consultations with groups to further discuss key issues and options.
Treasury will take into account the outcomes of its consultations before reporting to Government by April 2005.
All interested parties are invited to make submissions and comment on this paper. Treasury will accept written submissions up until 11 March 2005.
In formulating your submission please note the issues, options and questions that this discussion paper raises. The matters raised are not exhaustive and you may comment on other matters you consider relevant to the terms of reference.
Forward submissions to:
Retirement Income and General Rules Unit
Superannuation, Retirement and Savings Division
PARKES ACT 2600
Alternatively, email submissions to:
The review intends to make submissions publicly available except where the provider wishes them to be confidential. If you do not want your submission or any parts of your submission to be made publicly available, please indicate that clearly.
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