WEEKLY WRAP: FPA welcomes fairer taxation

by |

FPA welcomes fairer taxation of excess contributions in super

The tabling of a Bill to provide for fairer taxation of excess contributions in super is a welcome measure designed to create greater equity for lower and middle income earning Australians.

The Tax Laws Amendment (Fairer Taxation of Excess Concessional Contributions) Bill 2013 provides a fair and considered response to resolving a fundamental imbalance for many Australians. 

Mark Rantall, CEO of the FPA said,"The FPA welcomes the tabling of this Bill into Parliament and on behalf of our members and the millions of Australians they serve, we are pleased to see a genuine attempt by legislators to bring greater balance to the process of taxing excess contributions to super. The FPA has been calling for change to the unfair penalties for excess concessional contributions for many years. 

The changes will apply to contributions made on and after 1 July, 2013.

CommBank launches new simple, low-cost superannuation solution for personal and small business customers

The Commonwealth Bank (the Group) has launched a new superannuation solution, Commonwealth Essential Super (Essential Super), targeted at customers with simple superannuation needs.  It will be available to customers from July.

Designed as a low-cost offering that is simple, low maintenance and easy to understand, Essential Super will allow customers to take more control of their superannuation savings.  The product is targeted at personal customers from when they start their first job through to retirement and small businesses that employ up to 10 people.

Essential Super is a joint initiative between the Group’s Retail Banking Services and Colonial First State Investments Limited (the trustee of Essential Super) and will be offered through the branch network and Netbank, the Group’s online banking system. It is designed to be a companion product to the transaction account.

Colonial First State’s Executive General Manager, Linda Elkins, said: “Many Australians have simple financial needs. They want simple help and general advice in their branch.”

Mercer solution to maximize after-tax returns on Australian shares

Mercer has launched a new multi-manager fund to enable tax-exempt investors to maximise their after-tax returns.  The Mercer Australian Shares Fund for Tax-Exempt Investors is designed for endowments, not-for-profits (NFPs), and superannuation funds with members in the post-retirement phase.

"The Fund is a portfolio ‘building block’ essential for Australian tax-exempt investors.  It is also particularly relevant and timely for super funds as more members approach retirement,” said Mercer Principal, Craig Hughes, who leads a Mercer team focused on delivering investment advice and solutions to endowments and foundations.

“Australian tax-exempt investors have a tremendous opportunity to maximise after-tax total returns from their Australian share investments but, for too long, have had limited scope to customise their exposure according to their tax status. 

“The Mercer Australian Shares Fund for Tax-Exempt Investors will maintain a well-diversified active manager structure.  The Fund is targeting a 1.5% - 2.5% pa outperformance over the ‘grossed up’ after-tax benchmark over the medium to long term.  Investment reporting is also undertaken on an after-tax basis,” said Hughes.

OneVue expands team to support new initiatives

Waheed Rahman and Shamil Samji have both joined OneVue from self managed super fund (SMSF) provider SuperIQ, where they were employed as new business manager and senior fund accountant respectively.

Rahman and Samji will work within OneVue's adviser solutions team alongside OneVue's chief executive of strategic relationships Brett Marsh in enhancing the firm's SMSF capabilities.

Marsh said OneVue will roll out new SMSF services in the very near future following consultation with advisers and accountants who cater to the sector.

Aside from OneVue's investment platform operations, the group is also bolstering its unit registry side of the business and has appointed Susan Sampson to the role of national relationship manager for institutional clients.

OneVue group chief executive Connie Mckeage said Sampson will play a significant role in terms of taking care of clients who use OneVue's unit registry and in helping the business to find ways in which it can expand its offering.

Mckeage said the team had hired new marketing executive Kirstie Walia as well, who was currently assisting the group in taking its new investment platform pricing to market.  

NGS Super now authorised to offer a MySuper product

NGS Super has made its Diversified investment option – currently the default product – compliant with MySuper. NGS Super's CEO, Anthony Rodwell-Ball, said the Fund is well-positioned in terms of responding to superannuation reform.

"We see compliance with regulatory reform as part of our ongoing improvements for the Fund. Stronger Super will make a positive difference in many areas of superannuation, despite the short-term pain of compliance. However, it won't necessarily solve some of the bigger picture challenges: funds still have the important job of educating Australians about how to save enough for retirement," he said. 

Rodwell-Ball adds that MySuper is part of a broader focus on product innovation for NGS Super.

"While the MySuper product isn't significantly different to our current default product, we are investing in product development across other areas at the moment. As NGS celebrates 25 years in operation, we are working on a number of initiatives that we'll roll out over the next 12 months," he said.

FIIG appoints joint heads of intermediaries                                                                      

Fixed-income investment specialist FIIG Securities announced the appointment of Melbourne-based Emma Jenkin and Sydney-based Cathryn Gross as joint heads – intermediaries under a part-time job share arrangement.

In their new roles, Jenkin and Gross will manage FIIG Securities’ intermediaries team which provides fixed-income investment services to financial planners, family offices and private banks.

Jenkin and Gross will focus on business development, including long-lead time projects to integrate FIIG Securities’ products into third-party provider investment platforms. They both come to FIIG with extensive experience in the financial services industry and fixed-income investment.

Jenkin worked in fixed-income, equities and commodities markets during her eight years at investment bank UBS most recently in London as Executive Director managing Commodity Index Trading. Gross comes to FIIG from leadership development firm Executive Central, where she was a Senior Consultant implementing programs designed to address the business needs of professional women.