29 November 2011

Last week marked a win for older working Australians with the House of Representatives passing amendments to the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Amendment Bill 2011 that abolish the superannuation guarantee age limit.

Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, said “It’s a shame the Opposition voted against the Government’s amendments to abolish the age limit. However, with the support of the cross-benches including the Member for Lyne and the Member for New England, the reform was passed”.

From 1 July 2013, eligible employees aged 70 and over will receive the superannuation guarantee for the first time. This increases the coverage of the superannuation guarantee scheme to an additional 51,000 Australians aged 70 and over, who will get the benefit of the superannuation guarantee if they continue working.

“Making superannuation contributions compulsory for these mature-age employees will improve the adequacy and equity of the retirement income system, and provide an incentive to older Australians to remain in the workforce for longer,” Mr Shorten said.

A 1 July 2013 commencement date provides time for employers and older Australians to adjust to the new superannuation arrangements. 

The changes will also ensure that employers will be able to claim income tax deductions for superannuation guarantee contributions made to employees aged 70 and over from 1 July 2013.

It ensures employers will not bear a higher cost in employing workers 70 and over compared with other workers.

Amendments to the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Amendment Bill 2011 and the Tax Laws Amendment (Stronger, Fairer, Simpler and Other Measures) Bill 2011 were made to give effect to these reforms and these passed the House of Representatives last week.