Trustees granted consolidation powers

Superannuation fund trustees have been granted the power to consolidate multiple accounts for the same member under the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2013 Measure No.2), which has been introduced into Parliament.

Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten said the reforms would take effect on 1 July 2013, with the first round of consolidation occurring on 30 June 2014.

Trustees will need to set up procedures for consolidating multiple super accounts for individual members — in situations where it is in the member's best interests — on an annual basis under the legislation.

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Defined benefit, fixed home saver accounts and accounts that support an income stream would all be exempt, Shorten said, and the legislation did not consider the level of account balances.

The bill brings to light a recommendation in the Cooper Review which gave super fund trustees the ability to consolidate accounts.

Shorten said Government would continue to assess intrafund consolidation, with the next review due out in late 2014.

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