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2019 Federal Budget Review

What do the changes from the 2019 Federal Budget mean for you

While the superannuation budget announcements were quite limited in this year’s budget, there were a few important changes worth noting for super members.

Read on to find out about the proposed changes, what this means for you, and what our super and investment experts think of them.

Remember, the changes below are just proposals until they pass through the Federal Parliament. If and when that happens, most of these measures will come into effect on 1 July 2020.

1. Change: More flexibility for over 65s around super contributions

The budget included some additional flexibility for superannuation contributions for over 65s. The changes include:

  • An increase in the age at which a ‘work test’ needs to be met before individuals can make voluntary contributions from 65 to 67 from 1 July 2020.
  • An increase in the age limit for spouse contributions from 69 to 74. Currently contributions cannot be made for a spouse aged 70 or over.
  • An increase in the maximum age for the bring forward rule on after-tax (non-concessional) contributions from 65 to 67.

What does this mean for you?

It’s all about making it easier for you to top up your super balance—whether it’s through more time to make super contributions or by putting in $300,000 into your super account in a single tax year until you reach 66 years (provided you have less than $1.6 million in your super account).

2. Change: Additional funding for the regulators

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will receive an additional $550 million in funding over the next four years.

The additional funding is aimed to give these regulators additional resources to pursue matters raised in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry including:

  • additional enforcement action from ASIC
  • expanded regulation from ASIC, including a new conduct focused accountability scheme, as recommended in the Royal Commission
  • additional supervision from APRA
  • extension of the Bank Executive Accountability Regime to superannuation funds and other APRA-regulated financial institutions.

Also in line to receive small funding increases are the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to increase its activity on the recovery of unpaid super liabilities, and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) to complete its open cases prior to winding up at the end of 2020.

What does this mean for you?

Having well-funded corporate watchdogs means that there’s stronger oversight of super funds and what they do on behalf of their members. It’s a space worth watching to see what happens in terms of compensation, accountability, responsibility and good governance within the industry.

3. Change: Funding for a Superannuation Consumer Advocate

The government will undertake an expression of interest process for the establishment of a Superannuation Consumer Advocate to be the voice of the consumer in government policy discussions and education initiatives.

What does this mean for you?

At this point, it’s too early to know what this would mean for you, so watch this space.

4. Change: Tax relief for merging superannuation funds

The tax rollover facility provided in 2008 to encourage super fund mergers will be made permanent—removing an impediment for small and uneconomical super funds to merge with larger and more efficient super funds in the best interests of their members.

What does this mean for you?

Again, it’s too early to know what this would mean for you and we’ll update you if anything of significant impact does happen.

What our experts say

Keen to get more a more detailed analysis? Our super experts from the Russell Investments team have further details on the above changes, as well as analysis of technical changes to the calculation of exempt pension and the extension of SuperStream to include Superannuation Release Authorities (points that may interest members with self-managed super funds), and information on the additional funding to address sham employment contracting.

Read our full super update

Our expert investment strategists from the Russell Investments team also believe the immediate tax relief for many households will have the biggest impact on financial markets. Taken together, wage growth and the boost from these tax cuts will provide some support to household consumption. In turn, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) should see the budget as providing some comfort for the consumer. Our strategists provide a short summary of the economic and fiscal outlook following the announcements and implications for investors.

Read our full economic commentary

We’re here to help

This summary covers the important proposals we believe are most likely to affect you. This information can be complex, so if you’d like to know more or have any questions, simply call us on 1800 025 241, or email us at