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Minister backs RBF proposal to amend trust deed
IN DECEMBER 2012 representatives of RBF briefed public sector unions on some changes they were proposing to the Trust Deed that governs the operation of the Tasmanian Accumulation Scheme (TAS). The TAS is the default fund for public sector workers who are not members of the contributory scheme.
One proposed change put forward by RBF was to remove from the Deed a requirement for RBF to notify TAS members if their contributions are approaching or have exceeded the non-concessional contributions cap. If contributions exceed the cap their tax treatment changes so it is important workers know this and can change their arrangements. RBF explained it wanted to remove the obligation to provide this service to members because it was only aware of contributions to RBF so would not know if workers were contributing to other funds and therefore exceeding the cap overall. Unions accepted that RBF only knew about members contribution to RBF but asked that the obligation to advise members approaching or exceeding the non-concessional contributions cap to the RBF fund be retained. RBF rejected this request.
Changes to the TAS Trust Deed must be approved by the Minister for Finance, Scott Bacon. Unions wrote to the Minister asking that he reject the request from RBF to remove this obligation, noting they would support changes that made it clear RBF could only advise members based on funds contributed to RBF. Last week the Minister wrote to Unions noting their concerns but stating that ‘after considering advice provided by RBF I have decided to agree to its removal’.
The CPSU is extremely disappointed Minister Bacon has supported the proposal from RBF that again strips away a service that RBF members have enjoyed. In the Minister’s correspondence he repeats the explanation we keep getting from RBF whenever we raise issues about the changes they are making that ‘it’s consistent with industry standard’. One of the things members have always liked about RBF is that they are not the same as all the other superannuation funds, thereby bolstering calls for the likes of the TCCI to sell off RBF.
If you are concerned about the Minister’s decision you should raise your concerns with him directly. I’m sure members in Denison will see him out and about in coming months with a state election just 12 months away.