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Superannuation history

Superannuation history

Retirement income and superannuation have been significant themes for the Commonwealth Government since Federation. In common with other countries Australia’s retirement income system has three component parts or pillars as they are known. The social security Age Pension is its foundation. The compulsory superannuation contributions under the Superannuation Guarantee regime is its second pillar. The third pillar is additional savings, often made through additional superannuation contributions. The following chronology notes some of the significant dates in the development of the current retirement income system.
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Paper out the window at cutting-edge firm


IT WAS2006 when Paul Bellas of Brisbane-based  Bellas Accountants hit a wall – a wall of paper. As approved superannuation auditors Mr Bellas and his team audit the work of other private superfund- managing accounting firms, and back then the paper was piling up. ‘‘We would get sent

hundreds of couriered boxes of papers and files a day,’’ Mr Bellas said. ‘‘We would audit thousands of self-managed superannuation funds and we couldn’t cope with the demand of doing it on paper, so I decided we would have to go 100 per cent digital.’’ What followed was a technology revolution which has put the small Stones Corner firm on the cutting edge of paperless offices. ‘‘Being paperless means we’ve exploded nationally,’’ Mr Bellas said. ‘‘We can now work from every capital city in Australia because it can all be managed online, and information can be exchanged so easily.’’

Bellas Accountants is now in the top 100 superannuation auditors nationally, and was last year visited by the Deputy Commissioner of Superannuation who nominated it to be part of the professional-to-professional Australian Taxation Office program, which gives access to a higher-level  advice mechanism in the tax office regarding superannuation. The company also saves about $45,000 a year on rent.  ‘‘If we were to do our work on paper we would need a six storey building just to store all the files,’’ Mr Bellas said. The change to a paper-free environment has also given the company flexibility.

‘‘We have 10 staff, and they have the best work-life balance as they can easily take their work home,’’ Mr Bellas said. ‘‘I could run this company from anywhere in the world.’’ With the environmental, physical and operational benefits it seems that paper could soon be in the league of typewriters and abacus beads, a change Mr Bellas would happily sign off on. But only on his tablet, of course.

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