AUSTRALIA - Further regulations have been put in place as part of the government's ongoing programme of ‘Simplified Superannuation' reforms.
Minister for revenue and assistant treasurer Peter Dutton claimed the new regulations provided a “simplified minimum standard for pensions”.
He continued: “For the vast majority of income stream products, the new minimum standards will give retirees greater discretion over the amount of income they can draw from their pension each year.
“The new rules will also accommodate both account-based and more traditional guaranteed income stream products. Retirees will therefore retain the ability to choose between these two broad product categories.
“The regulations also give effect to changes to the portability of benefits, including introducing a standard portability form. From 1 July 2007, the maximum timeframe in which a fund has to action a member’s request to transfer benefits will be reduced from 90 to 30 days.”
Other amendments included the removal of the requirement for compulsory cashing of superannuation benefits for people over the age of 65; revised rules for the payment of superannuation death benefits; new rules for the acceptance of member contributions made without a tax file number; and improvements to the regulation of self-managed superannuation funds.
Yesterday, treasurer Peter Costello announced an ageing population remained “the biggest economic challenge for Australia over the medium and long term”, following the publication of the federal government’s second Intergenerational Report (IGR).
Speaking in an interview with Philip Clark, Costello said: “On our current estimates the additional spending required to look after the aged population by 2047 would be such that the difference between spending and revenue would be about A$35bn per annum unless we take measures to stop it.”
The Brunel Pension Partnership has become the fourth local authority pool to receive the green light from the regulator.
Defined benefit (DB) schemes are to be offered a new consolidator as the former chief of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) launches 'The Pension SuperFund'.
Martin Freeman has been hired as head of technology product and development at Smart Pension, to support the 'growing' technology product side of the business.
Tim Sharp says the government has missed some big opportunities to help workers in the DB white paper.