Late change to six-member bill

six-member bill amendment

The federal opposition has made an amendment to stalled bill enabling six-member SMSFs, adding a review period one year after it is enacted.

A late amendment has been made to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Self-Managed Superannuation Funds) Bill 2020, which is the proposed legislation that will allow the creation of six-member SMSFs, replacing the current maximum number of four members in a fund.

“We are aware that Labor has passed an amendment to that bill. They are asking for a review of the conduct of financial advisers and trustees and self-managed super fund investment performance and governance,” SMSF Association deputy chief executive and policy and education director Peter Burgess revealed during a Topdocs technical webinar yesterday.

“So they’re saying 12 months after the legislation is changed they would like to see that review undertaken.”

According to Burgess, the amendment was in keeping with the federal opposition’s attitude since the bill was first introduced.

“What they’re saying is consistent with their dissenting report. So this bill did go to a Senate Economics Committee for review [and] while the committee did agree to recommend [passing] this bill, the Labor members of that committee did put a dissenting report forward and they raised some concerns about advice being provided by financial advisers and a few other things,” he said.

While acknowledging the amendment, he pointed out it may not actually be included in the legislation when it is finalised.

“From what we understand, the government does have the support of the crossbench [in the Senate already] to get this six-member [bill] through anyway. So whether the minor parties also agree to this amendment, I’m not sure,” he noted.

It was expected the bill would have already been debated in the upper house, but this is not the case.

“From what we can see it still hasn’t come up for debate, but we are expecting it [to be debated] any time [and] very soon,” Burgess noted.

The bill received a second reading in September last year before debate on it was adjourned.

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