Budget measures will become election promises

SMSF budget measures

The SMSF sector is likely to see budget changes from this year re-announced as election promises rather than as enacted bills in the next year

Key superannuation measures announced in this year’s budget are unlikely to pass through the current parliament and will feature as government promises in the next election, an SMSF technical expert has predicted.

Smarter SMSF chief executive Aaron Dunn said the details of proposed changes to the calculation of exempt current pension income and the relaxation of residency rules had not yet been released, while other measures had been flagged in draft bills and Treasury consultation papers.

“The most interesting aspect out of the budget measures, from an SMSF context, was the fact that we had two specific measures that we as an industry had been pushing for the government to amend for some period of time,” Dunn said during a recent online presentation.

“As it stands right now, there hasn’t even been any consultation around these issues, nor around the exposure draft that allows us to see what Treasury has put together in respect to the legacy pension conversion.”

He noted these measures were not part of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Superannuation Outcomes For Australians and Helping Australian Businesses Invest) Bill 2021, which introduced measures to reduce the age to make downsizer contributions, increase the First Home Super Savers Scheme release amount, repeal the work test and remove the $450 superannuation guarantee threshold.

“The likelihood of these seeing the light of day, other than as election promises, given the fact that we’ve got to go through a fairly large process of consultation on those matters, is that we will now see those forming part of the coalition’s promises going into the federal election in April or May or whenever that gets called,” he said.

He said the government had left itself almost no time to deal with these matters in 2022 after moving the budget forward to March 29 next year.

“The reality is whatever sitting days are available between now and probably the end of March, once that budget has been announced, that is what we have available to get this thing done,” he noted.

“From the measures that are currently in parliament, the SMSF ones in my view appear more likely now to form part of the budget announcement again as part of their commitment to these measures going forward.”

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