The Financial Planning Association of Australia The Financial Planning Association of Australia


Treasury has released draft legislation to amend aspects of the superannuation reforms announced in the 2016-17 Budget.

Please note that these minor technical amendments were requested by the ATO to improve the practical implementation of the Government’s superannuation tax reform package, particularly in relation to transition to retirement income streams.

The two draft Bills serve to implement the ATO’s proposed changes

The following overview is based on the Explanatory Memorandums accompanying the draft Bills.

In addition, on 28 March 2017 the Government amended the Fair and Sustainable Superannuation Regulations affecting death benefits and income streams.

Download the summary of changes on death benefits and income streams.

ATO guidance

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has released guidance on a number of key topics to assist you to understand the superannuation changes and how they may apply to your clients. Each piece includes an explanation of the change, what needs to be done before 30 June 2017 and after 1 July 2017 and also includes examples to help you understand how the change applies practically to people in different situations.

Key topics released as at 22 March 2017:

The ATO has also released a series of law companion guidelines detailing the ATO’s view on how the new laws should be applied.

  • Transfer balance cap – guidance on how the transfer balance cap (set at $1.6 million for the 2017-18 financial year) operates for account-based superannuation income stream products. This includes limiting the amount of capital individuals can transfer to the retirement phase to support superannuation income streams.
  • Concessional contributions – defined benefit interests and constitutionally protected funds – clarifies the amendments to the calculation of concessional contributions and excess concessional contributions for defined benefit funds after 1 July 2017.
  • Total superannuation balance – clarifies how to calculate total super balance from 30 June 2017. The guide is important for any members assisting clients with eligibility for unused concessional contributions cap carry forward; non-concessional contributions cap and for the bring forward of your non-concessional contributions cap; and eligibility for the tax offset for spouse contributions.
  • Defined benefit income streams – non commutable, lifetime pensions and lifetime annuities – clarifies how the defined benefit income cap applies to superannuation income stream benefits that are paid from a non-commutable, lifetime pension or lifetime annuity.
  • Capital gains tax (CGT) – guidance on the transitional CGT relief available for superannuation funds because of the transfer balance cap and transition-to-retirement reforms commencing on 1 July 2017.
  • Death benefits and the transfer balance cap – provides guidance on the tax and regulatory treatment of superannuation death benefits and the treatment of death benefit income streams under the transfer balance cap provisions.
  • Capped defined benefit income streams – clarifies how the defined benefit income cap applies to superannuation income stream pensions or annuities that are paid from life expectancy or market linked products that are non-commutable. The guidance follows changes made to the income tax treatment of certain defined benefit income stream benefits from the 2017-18 financial year.

Super reforms at a glance

Read Government announcement about changes to the 2016 Budget measures

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