Regulatory Roundup – February 2013


Superannuation Income Streams

Information sheet: ‘Self-managed superannuation funds – starting and stopping a superannuation income stream (pension)’

Published on 23 January 2013, this information sheet outlines the issues trustees of Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs) may need to take into account when a superannuation income stream (SIS) starts or stops.

The document explains when a SIS exists and highlights the ongoing requirements for the trustee of the SMSF to ensure that the minimum pension standards in the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (SISR94) are met.


Super Guarantee (SG) for Long Distance Drivers

Information sheet: ‘Super guarantee for long distance drivers’

Published on 21 January 2013, this information sheet sets out how employers must calculate the correct amount of super guarantee (SG) contributions for their employees working as long distance drivers, including how to work out ordinary time earnings (OTE).  It also explains how to calculate SG for drivers paid on a piece-rate basis, such as cents per kilometre.

The information sheet states that since 1 July 2008, the minimum amount of super an employer needs to pay by law has been based on their employee’s OTE.

The Tax Office believes that some employers in the transport industry may not be calculating OTE correctly, especially if they are basing their calculations on advice the Tax Office gave in 1995.  That advice was based on the law at the time and expressed the view that:

  • ordinary hours of work were effectively capped at 40 hours per week, and
  • if a driver was paid on a cents per kilometre basis, OTE could simply be calculated using the weekly award rate of pay.

The current information sheet states that the 1995 advice is no longer correct under the existing law and employers can no longer rely on it.


Illegal Early Access to Superannuation

Information sheet: ‘Illegal early access to superannuation’

Published on 11 January 2013, this information sheet outlines the Government’s proposed measure that will introduce new penalties for promoters of schemes that facilitate the illegal release of superannuation.  These new penalties will enable the Tax Office to prosecute scheme promoters.


Updated SMSF Trustee Declarations

Fact sheet: ‘Self-managed super funds – key messages for trustees’ (NAT 71128)

Published in December 2012, this fact sheet should be read in conjunction with the updated Trustee declaration (NAT 71089) approved form.  The Tax Office recommends that SMSF trustees should keep a copy of this fact sheet with them and refer to it when making important decisions on behalf of their fund.

The updated Trustee declaration has the following new inclusions:

  • a requirement that the investment strategy be regularly reviewed
  • consideration of whether the fund should hold insurance cover for members, and
  • a declaration that trustees of SMSFs are aware that they do not have access to the government’s financial assistance program in case of financial loss due to fraudulent conduct or theft.


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