Australia: Superannuation & Funds Management - What's News - 27 October 2011

Last Updated: 29 October 2011


Superannuation Group Calls for Sacking of Entire News Corp Board

30 September 2011

In a statement, the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) strongly urged for the sacking of News Corp board members James Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, Natalie Bancroft, David De Voe, Andrew Knight and Arthur Siskind More...

High Court rules superannuation guarantee constitutional

29 September 2011

The High Court has affirmed that employers can be charged for not providing the right level of superannuation to employees, rejecting an argument by market research firm Roy Morgan Research that the superannuation guarantee charge was unconstitutional More...

Canberra proposes ban on superannuation commissions

29 September 2011

The federal government yesterday officially declared an end to the payment of commissions on superannuation, releasing its second discussion paper on the Future of Financial Advice with the ban as the central message More...

New superannuation regulations to add to client costs

30 September 2011

Handing regulator APRA tougher prudential powers over superannuation looks set to add to compliance costs in the short term, according to sources, according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia's chief executive More...

APRA proposes superannuation fund standards

29 September 2011

Superannuation funds will be required to follow stricter Governance arrangements under proposed new standards released by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), but they will still fall short on many of the obligations imposed on the boards of publicly-listed companies More...

Second tranche of FOFA well received by industry

29 September 2011

In response to the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms announced, the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the Industry Super Network (ISN) have come out in support of the release and its push for a more professional industry, although there were small differences in their stance More...

Australian Crime Commission Board warns of investment scams targeting Australians

The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) Board urges Australians to protect themselves against the growing threat of serious and organised fraudulent investment scams (28 September 2011) More...

Superannuation industry funds' claims disputed
27 September 2011
Research from the union-affiliated industry funds claims dramatically better performance than the retail master trusts , claiming that the average return from June 1996 to June 2010 was 5.35 per cent per annum for industry funds and only 3.66 per cent for retail funds More...

Challenge to Superannuation Guarantee Charge Fails in High Court

28 September 2011
The High Court of Australia today confirmed the Superannuation Guarantee Charge Act (SGCA) and the Superannuation Guarantee Administration Act (SCAA) are valid under Australia's Constitution in the case Roy Morgan Research Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation () More...

Superannuation trustee board structure needs new framework

26 September 2011
The controversy which continues to surround MTAA Super, and issues such as so-called "liquidity providers" within superannuation funds,have combined with the actions of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to turn a spotlight on the superannuation industry as a whole More...

Govt announces new online superannuation form

26 September 2011
The Government has announced a new electronic form to connect superannuation members with 5.8 million lost super accounts. The Government has released draft legislation allowing the ATO to administer the electronic portability form for public consultation. The draft legislation is available on the Treasury website and consultations will close on 13 October 2011 More...

Superannuation fund boards should be more transparent
22 September 2011
Superannuation funds should be subject to the same corporate governance requirements as publicly listed companies. The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) policy general manager said an appropriate outcome could be achieved by making suitable changes to the rules More...

ASIC obtains Fed Court order to preserve funds

22 September 2011
ASIC sought to restrict both parties from moving any invested cash within the fund after it found that neither the firm nor Travers held an Australian financial services (AFS) licence, after offering investment opportunities in contracts for difference, spread betting and foreign exchange markets More...

APRA accepts enforceable undertaking from former Trio director

19 September 2011
APRA announces it has accepted an enforceable undertaking from former Trio Capital Limited (Trio) director for failing to carry out his duties properly as a director of a superannuation trustee More...

Self Managed Superannuation Fund Auditors Draft Regulations

21 September 2011
The Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation has released draft Regulations that extend the audit period when the audit report cannot be provided on time due to certain circumstances beyond the auditor's control. The proposed changes will ensure SMSF auditors are not penalised unfairly when external factors cause delays in the completion of the audit report More...

Law to make directors personally liable for employees' superannuation

14 October 2011
Australian company directors will become personally liable for unpaid superannuation guarantee liabilities to their workers under legislation introduced to parliament, in what the minister described as a crackdown on "phoenix" companies More...

FOFA reaches parliament with undisclosed feature

14 October 2011
Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, yesterday introduced the Future of Financial Advice Bill (the FOFA Bill) with the addition of a new feature of a retrospective disclosure statement, which will require fee disclosure statements for all existing clients More...

ASIC accepts enforceable undertaking from Opus

13 October 2011
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from Opus Capital, a responsible entity for 14 unlisted property funds. The EU follows the rectification of a breach of a condition of its Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence, ASIC stated More...

Protecting Employee Super and Strengthening the Obligations of Company Directors

13 October 2011
The Gillard Government introduces tax legislation designed to protect workers' superannuation and deter fraudulent 'phoenix company' activity. The package protects employees' entitlements through three strong measures: The Fair Entitlements Guarantee; Securing Super; and Strengthening Corporate and Taxation Law More...

Superannuation scheme must change its ways

12 October 2011
Retirees should be forced to take income streams from their superannuation benefits rather than cash in big lump sums, a new study by the Australian Centre for Financial Studies and consultants Mercer recommends. The unveiled a report shows that despite Australia's top-ranking scheme for retirees, the nation still lagged behind world's best practice More...

ATO clarifies SMSF borrowing

12 October 2011
In the recently released draft self managed superannuation funds (SMSF) ruling SMSFR 2011/D1, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has provided welcome clarification on a number of key issues relating to limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBAs) More...

Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation appoints Northern Trust as custodian

11 October 2011
The recently formed $24 billion Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) has named Northern Trust as its custodian, effective from early 2012. CSC was established on 1 July 2011 after the merger of the Australian Reward Investment Alliance and Military boards, and the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Authority More...

ATO still vigilant on illegal early release schemes

10 October 2011
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has reinforced its intention to crack down on illegal early release superannuation schemes and has warned of the significant tax implications for those involved. ATO assistant commissioner, superannuation, Stuart Forsyth said that this year the ATO would be auditing about 40 promoters and 300 participants More...

Executive pay: the high cost of market failure

10 October 2011
The Australian Council of Super Investors (ACSI), the body which represents industry super funds, marked its ten-year anniversary last month with a ten-year study on executive pay. It found the decade to 2010 saw median CEO fixed pay in the Top 100 ASX Australian companies rise 131 per cent and the median bonus increase 190 percent More...

Tax status of insurance in super clearer

07 October 2011
New income tax rules handed down have clarified the tax deductibility of insurance premiums for risk cover taken inside a superannuation fund. The regulations prescribe the percentage of premiums which are deductible in some typical insurance arrangements More...

Standard & Poor's (S&P) denies misleading councils

07 October 2011
The international credit ratings agency, has denied misleading NSW councils who are claiming more than $15 million in losses from a failed investment which was given a top ranking More...

Director pleads guilty to dishonest conduct

06 October 2011
A former Financial Partners director has pleaded guilty to nine charges of dishonest conduct involving $1.8 million of investor funds. At the time of the alleged conduct, none of his companies held an Australian financial services licence (Financial Partners PL, Venture Capital Management PL and Biotech Solutions PL.) More...

Shorten undecided on draft guidelines

04 October 2011
The federal government is yet to make a decision on how it will resolve concerns over the lack of specific guidelines provided for at least two key elements of its industry reforms - the ruling behind the best-interest duty and ASIC's increased powers More...


Managed Investment Schemes: Discussion Paper Comments 2011

September 2011
Chartered Secretaries Australia (CSA) CSA's comments in the view that the current consultation is an opportunity for CAMAC to also report on the need for good governance and risk management frameworks to be implemented in MIS More...

Practice Notes

APRA superannuation prudential standards paper for discussion

28 September 2011
APRA has released for consultation a discussion paper Prudential standards for superannuation introducing its proposals for prudential standards for the superannuation industry. The paper outlines the key requirements APRA expects to include in each standard. APRA expects to commence the authorisation process in the second half of 2012 for RSE licensees wishing to offer MySuper products

New online super tracking portal form

After locating any lost super through SuperSeeker, members can pre-fill a transfer request and submit it electronically to the ATO, who will then verify the identity of the lost member, match it to the recorded account and verify the status of the nominated receiving fund. The online form is open for public consultation until October 2011.The draft legislation is available on the Treasury website. Exposure Draft - Electronic Portability Form for Lost Superannuation

Stronger Super reforms information pack released

20 September 2011
The Assistant Treasurer has released an Information Pack containing further details of the Stronger Super Reforms. Legislation is planned to be introduced in several tranches, over the coming months and in the first half of 2012.

Use of ASIC logo by licence holders prohibited ASIC has published a reminder for licensees, and others, that they cannot use the ASIC logo or name to promote their businesses. Read the detailed statement from Commissioner Dr Peter Boxall

ASFA launches online superannuation CPD package

11 October 2011
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has launched a continuing professional development product (CPD) for the superannuation industry called SuperCPD. SuperCPD is about not only keeping up-to-date, but developing yourself for your next role and maintaining your RG 146 compliance More...



Personal Property Securities Amendment (Registration Commencement) Bill 2011

13 October 2011
The Personal Property Securities legislation will rationalise the current Commonwealth, State and Territory laws on securities in personal property. It will create one single national set of rules and a single national online register. There will be one comprehensive law with clear rules governing the validity, priorities, enforcement and extinguishment of security interests in all personal property. More...


Roy Morgan Research Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2011] HCA 35

Constitutional law (Cth) – Taxation – s 51(ii) – Superannuation guarantee charge imposed upon employers who fail to provide to employees a prescribed level of superannuation – Charge debt due to Commonwealth and paid into Consolidated Revenue Fund for benefit of employees – Whether law imposing charge not a law with respect to taxation because charge is not imposed for "public purposes", and because it confers a "private and direct benefit" on employees of those employers who pay charge. More...

Rusterholz v Board of Trustees of the State Public Sector Superannuation Scheme [2011] QSC 276

INSURANCE AND INCOME SECURITY – SUPERANNUATION – REGULATED AND COMPLYING SUPERANNUATION FUNDS – MINIMUM BENEFIT AND MEMBER PROTECTION STANDARDS – Where the respondent administers the superannuation scheme for State public sector employees – Where the applicant was a non-contributing member – Where the applicant seeks declaration of an entitlement for total permanent disablement – Where the applicant did not disclose a pre-existing medical condition – Where the respondent board determined that the applicant was not entitled to total permanent disablement benefit under the scheme – Where competing interpretations of the meaning of the section relevant to the entitlement of the applicant advanced – Where the applicant challenged the decision of the Board on the basis that it failed to properly inform itself of matters relevant to the decision to deny the applicant relief – Where the respondent contended that the applicant should have completed a personal medical statement upon becoming a contributing member of the scheme and should have disclosed the pre-existing injuries –Whether the applicant was entitled as a non-contributing member who had not lodged a truthful medical statement when joining the defined benefit scheme to benefit under the scheme – Whether the applicant is entitled to declaratory relief More...

National Australia Bank Ltd & Anor v Horne & Anor [2011] VSCA 280

CORPORATIONS – Voluntary administration – Defect in appointment of administrators by secured creditor – Whether the court has power to validate the appointment under s 447A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – Whether a proper exercise of discretion – Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) ss 435A, 436A, 436C, and 447A. More...

Olesen v Parker [2011] FCA 1096

SUPERANNUATION – Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth) ss 62(1), 82, 83(2), 84(1), 109(1A), 196(4), 221, 323 – regulated superannuation fund – self-managed superannuation fund - in-house assets – related party – Part 8 associate – seriousness of contraventions – acted honestly – ought fairly to be excused – reasonable mistake – reasonable reliance on information supplied by another person – monetary penalty More...

In the matter of Centro Retail Limited and Centro MCS Manager Limited in its capacity as Responsible Entity of Centro Retail Trust [2011] NSWSC 1175

CORPORATIONS - managed investment schemes - modification of constitution of registered scheme under s 601GC(1) - whether in the particular case the responsible entity may effect modification under s 601GC(1)(b) - meaning of "members' rights" - whether members have a "right" to see new units issued for the price stated in the existing constitution and not otherwise unless some different basis is added by special resolution of members - held that "members' rights" do not extend to a "right" to have the scheme administered according to the existing constitution and not otherwise - "members' rights" to be construed by analogy with company law - need nevertheless for the responsible entity, as a trustee, to act for the benefit of beneficiaries - the possibility of dilution of existing members is a matter to be taken into account in assessing benefit to beneficiaries More...

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