The majority voted against amendments introduced by NSW Senator Jenny McAllister, which means they failed.

What was the purpose of the amendments?

Senator McAllister explained that:

As we've made clear in this debate, Labor supports choice in superannuation, but we are committed to making sure that every worker is in a high-performing fund and that adequate information is available to empower consumers with the information they need to make choices that are in their best interests. We are concerned that there is a significant risk that this bill poses to defined benefit offerings, and we're concerned that the effect of this risk will be to lessen choice and to achieve the opposite of what this bill purports to achieve. These amendments specifically address the issues raised by UniSuper when they appeared before the Senate Economics Legislation Committee in its inquiry into the bill. They address issues relating to defined benefit schemes in order to ensure that the bill does not inadvertently threaten the viability of those schemes.

Amendment texts

(2) Schedule 1, item 6, page 4 (lines 3 and 4), omit the item, substitute:

6 Paragraph 32C(6) (h)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

(h) an enterprise agreement:

(i) made before 1 July 2020; or

(ii) if the agreement includes a restriction on the choice of superannuation funds—made on or after 1 July 2020; or

(iii) to which subsection (6AAA) applies; or

[choice of fund]

(3) Schedule 1, item 7, page 4 (before line 7), before subsection 32C(6AA), insert:

(6AAA) For the purposes of subparagraph (6) (h) (iii), this subsection applies to an enterprise agreement that provides for an employee to join a fund in relation to which:

(a) the employee is eligible to become a defined benefit member; and

(b) either or both of the following are satisfied:

(i) the governing rules of the fund permit the employee, within a period specified within those rules, to choose not to remain a defined benefit member;

(ii) the employee may choose another fund.

[choice of fund]

(4) Schedule 1, page 4 (after line 16), at the end of the Schedule, add:

8 At the end of section 32F


(4) A fund (the selected fund ) cannot become a chosen fund for an employee or a person who will become an employee under this section if the person has become or is eligible to become a defined benefit member pursuant to an arrangement of the kind referred to in subsection 32C(6).

9 Subsection 32NA(2)

After "An employer is not required under section 32N to give an employee", insert "or a person who is eligible to become an employee".

10 Paragraph 32NA(2) (a)

After "the employer is making", insert "or will make".

11 Paragraph 32NA(2) (b)

After "the contributions are made", insert "or will be made".

12 Subsection 32NA(9)

After "An employer is not required under section 32N to give an employee", insert "or a person who is eligible to become an employee".

13 Paragraph 32NA(9) (a)

After "the employee is", insert "or will become".

[choice of fund]

Votes Not passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (89% turnout) 8 Yes 0 No
Richard Di Natale Victoria Yes
Mehreen Faruqi NSW Yes
Sarah Hanson-Young SA Yes
Nick McKim Tasmania Yes
Janet Rice Victoria Yes
Rachel Siewert WA Yes
Larissa Waters Queensland Yes
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania Yes
Jordon Steele-John WA Absent
Australian Labor Party (64% turnout) 16 Yes 0 No
Tim Ayres NSW Yes
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania Yes
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Yes
Raff Ciccone Victoria Yes
Don Farrell SA Yes
Alex Gallacher SA Yes
Katy Gallagher ACT Yes
Nita Green Queensland Yes
Jenny McAllister NSW Yes
Malarndirri McCarthy NT Yes
Deborah O'Neill NSW Yes
Louise Pratt WA Yes
Glenn Sterle WA Yes
Anne Urquhart Tasmania Yes
Jess Walsh Victoria Yes
Murray Watt Queensland Yes
Carol Brown Tasmania Absent
Kim Carr Victoria Absent
Patrick Dodson WA Absent
Kristina Keneally NSW Absent
Kimberley Kitching Victoria Absent
Helen Polley Tasmania Absent
Tony Sheldon NSW Absent
Marielle Smith SA Absent
Penny Wong SA Absent
Centre Alliance (50% turnout) 0 Yes 1 No
Rex Patrick SA No
Stirling Griff SA Absent
Sam McMahon NT Country Liberal Party Absent
Sue Lines WA Deputy President Yes
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania Jacqui Lambie Network No
Liberal National Party (50% turnout) 0 Yes 1 No
James McGrath Queensland No
Matthew Canavan Queensland Absent
Liberal Party (76% turnout) 0 Yes 22 No
Alex Antic SA No
Wendy Askew Tasmania No
Andrew Bragg NSW No
Slade Brockman WA No
Michaelia Cash WA No
Claire Chandler Tasmania No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells NSW No
Hollie Hughes NSW No
Jane Hume Victoria No
Andrew McLachlan SA No
Jim Molan NSW No
Matt O'Sullivan WA No
James Paterson Victoria No
Gerard Rennick Queensland No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Anne Ruston SA No
Paul Scarr Queensland No
Zed Seselja ACT No
Dean Smith WA No
Amanda Stoker Queensland No
David Van Victoria No
Eric Abetz Tasmania Absent
Simon Birmingham SA Absent
Mathias Cormann WA Absent
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania Absent
David Fawcett SA Absent
Sarah Henderson Victoria Absent
Marise Payne NSW Absent
National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 3 No
Perin Davey NSW No
Susan McDonald Queensland No
Bridget McKenzie Victoria No
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Pauline Hanson Queensland No
Malcolm Roberts Queensland No
Scott Ryan Victoria President No
Totals (74% turnout) 25 Yes – 31 No