Govt SG amnesty 3 years in making

The Government appears to have drawn on employer group requests from 2015 in developing its Budget initiative to allow employers a one-year amnesty to make good superannuation guarantee under-payments.

Hearings of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee have revealed that while few, if any, employer, financial services and superannuation groups were consulted about the Government’s intentions around the SG amnesty in 2017 or early this year, a number of discussions had taken place in 2015.

Both the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) used answers to questions on notice from the Senate Committee to confirm the issue had been discussed in 2015/16.

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The ACCI confirmed it had attended two meetings with officers of the Australian Taxation Office and the Treasury in 2015 and 2016 and that it had written to the Assistant Treasurer in July 2015 supporting an amnesty to allow employers the opportunity to catch up.

The ASFA said that it had also in 2015 “raised with Government a possible proposal that employers be provided with a six-month amnesty period on a one-off basis”.

The ASFA, Industry Super Australia (ISA) and the Financial Services Council (FSC) had confirmed during hearings of the Senate Committee that they had not been consulted on the amnesty prior to the Budget announcement.

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