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Bill to expand First Home Super Saver Scheme delayed

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reporter 5 minute read

With the final sitting day of Parliament over, the bill expanding the voluntary contributions under the First Home Super Saver Scheme may not pass before the federal election.

In late October, the government introduced Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing superannuation outcomes for Australians and helping Australian businesses invest) Bill 2021 into Parliament to implement the various changes to superannuation it announced in the federal budget.

The bill, if passed as law, would increase the maximum amount of voluntary contributions that could be released under the First Home Super Saver Scheme from $30,000 to $50,000.

As previously announced, the larger contributions would enable eligible individuals to release more contributions to fund the purchase of their first home from 1 July 2022 (with retrospective application from 1 July 2018).

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The bill would also remove the $450 per month income threshold for the super guarantee, reduce the eligibility age for downsizer from 65 to 60 years of age and repeal the work test for individuals 67-75 years of age for non-concessional contributions (including bring-forward rule) or salary sacrifice contributions.

The bill also gives self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees the choice to be able to use their preferred method of calculating exempt current pension income where the fund is fully in the retirement phase for part of the income year but not for the entire income year.

However, with the last sitting day of Parliament now over, it is expected that the bill will now not pass until next year – and potentially not before the federal election.

According to the proposed parliamentary calendar for 2022 released last week, there are potentially less than two weeks of sitting days between now and August, provided the government calls an election for May. 

Based on the parliamentary sitting calendar for 2022, Smarter SMSF chief executive Aaron Dunn suggested that even if the government calls an election as late as May, there may only be around 10 sitting days between now and election time.

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“We’d like to see this go through as quickly as it possibly can as it would give some certainty around these measures,” said Mr Dunn.

Mr Dunn also raised concerns about the two budget measures that were left off the bill, which relate to legacy pensions and changes to the residency rules for SMSFs.

“The further we go on, the more concerned I get to see whether they will actually take effect from 1 July 2022, or whether they just amount to election promises now,” Mr Dunn said.

[Related: Broking industry reaction to the budget]

Bill to expand First Home Super Saver Scheme delayed
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