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Super changes not yet understood

superannuation changes

Sweeping changes to superannuation in 2017 are still not fully understood but further changes are unlikely in the near future.

The widespread changes to superannuation started in 2017 are not widely understood and still need to be bedded down, according to a government minister, who repeated assurances that no future negative changes would be made to the system.

Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology Jane Hume said current changes to the super system were focused on increasing efficiency and reducing costs and the government had already committed to no major changes in the near future.

“The Prime Minister made a commitment at the 2019 election that there would be no changes to taxation in superannuation that would have a detrimental effect,” Senator Hume said during a presentation at the recent Tax Institute 2020 National Superannuation Online Conference.

“This is important because the one message we get loud and clear, and regularly, is to stop fiddling with superannuation and to stop tinkering.

“The last significant changes that came through have not been bedded down and there is still a lot of misunderstanding about them and people are not used to them yet.”

She said any ongoing changes would continue to address inefficiencies in the system and pointed to changes to reduce fees, stop compulsory life insurance premiums eroding balances and reduce duplicate accounts as examples of reforms that met that goal.

In a keynote address to the conference, she also highlighted the role of SMSFs in providing more options for superannuants and being the catalyst for change.

“The growth and changing shape of the SMSF sector is changing the dynamics of the entire super sector and driving competition,” she said.

“We are seeing some Australian Prudential Regulation Authority-regulated funds respond by developing products with SMSF-type features when it comes to the range of choice of investments offered.”

She added the government was “committed to a vibrant self-managed super fund sector as part of our wider plans to build a stronger and more efficient super system”.

“We are committed to a sector that continues to offer individuals choice, one that is efficient and drives product innovation, and ultimately one that delivers the best outcomes for more than 1 million Australians who manage their own superannuation,” she said.

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