Federal Budget 2019-20: superannuation measures

Superannuation did not feature strongly in this year’s Federal Budget, with more focus given to income tax changes and spending measures. These proposals are contingent on the Government being re-elected, with a Federal election to be held in May.

All the changes announced are what the Government plans to do. No changes are law, and none are implemented purely off the back of being presented in the Federal Budget. Before making any decisions, you need to check whether any of these announcements have become law.

Protecting Your Super Package

In last year’s Budget, the Government announced plans under the Protecting Your Super Package to remove people under age 25 and members with low balance accounts from default insurance arrangements with their super fund. This year they confirmed that if they are re-elected, that plan would come into effect from 1 October 2019. If they choose to have insurance cover but are under age 25 or have less than $6,000 in their super account, workers will have to actively notify their super fund of their choice (i.e. they will have to opt-in).

As reported last year, there are likely to be unintended consequences from the Government's one-size-fits-all plan for insurance, given the very real impact on the hundreds of thousands of people who trust Cbus to protect them with appropriate levels of cover. Cbus has been advocating for our members who work in some of the most hazardous conditions in the country. If this change were to go through, it would result in fewer workers having the financial safety net that death and disability insurance cover provides.

Improving flexibility for older Australians

The Government plans to lift the age restrictions for some of its super contribution rules:

  • Currently, people aged 65 and over can only make voluntary superannuation contributions if they work at least 40 hours in a continuous 30-day period. This is called the ‘work test’.
    • From 1 July 2020, it’s proposed that people aged 65 and 66 can make voluntary contributions without meeting the work test.
  • Currently, those aged 65 and over can’t access ‘bring forward’ arrangements that allow them to essentially make three years of non-concessional contributions in a single tax year.
    • From 1 July 2020, this age restriction is proposed to be lifted to age 67.
  • Currently, people aged 70 and over cannot receive spouse contributions from their partners.
    • From 1 July 2020, this restriction is proposed that this age restriction is lifted to age 74.

These changes have the potential to give older Australians greater flexibility to save for retirement, and Cbus supports measures that give workers more opportunity to boost super savings in the last few working years.

See our Federal Budget fact sheet 2019/20 (PDF) for a full breakdown of the budget and find further details at www.budget.gov.au.


This update is intended to keep readers informed of current developments in superannuation and is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice. It doesn’t take into account your specific needs, so you should look at your own financial position, objectives and requirements before making any financial decisions. Read the relevant Cbus Product Disclosure Statement to decide whether Cbus is right for you. Call us on 1300 361 784 or visit www.cbussuper.com.au for a copy. All care has been taken to ensure that the information contained herein is correct. United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 expressly disclaims all liability and responsibility to any person who relies, or partially relies, upon the content, any error or misprint, or for any person who acts on this information.

Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262.