Australia: Superannuation & Funds Management - What's News - 11 December 2013

Last Updated: 17 December 2013

In the media

Financial Services Inquiry should better connect the finance system to the real economy

ISA – 06 December 2013 – ISA has called for the upcoming financial services inquiry to focus on improving the efficiency of the industry as research released last week found that in 1990, for every $1 of resources allocated to the finance sector, there was $3.50 of capital formation, but by 2012 that figure had dropped to $1.50 of capital formation for every $1 of resources used. More...

ISA vows to fight on for LISC

MEDIA – 05 December 2013 – Industry Super Australia (ISA) has vowed to keep working with the Government and other parties to secure a continuation of the Low Income Superannuation Contribution. More...

ASIC warns advisers on capital-protected products

MEDIA – 05 December 2013 – An ASIC review of 50 pieces of advice on capital-protected products has deemed half of the documents reviewed to be non-compliant – but an industry body has criticised the small sample size. Report 377 Review of advice on retail structured products. More...

Consumers confused by information overload: FPA

MEDIA – 05 December 2013 – Disclosure requirements, including licensee ownership information, should balance transparency against burdening consumers with red tape, according to the Financial Planning Association. More...

APRA releases final SuperStream reporting standards

MEDIA – 05 December 2013 – APRA has released the final version of its Reporting Standards SRS 711.0 for SuperStream Benchmarking Measures, relating to the rollover and contribution transactions of super funds. More...

FSC report backs case for Asia Passport

MEDIA – 05 December 2013 – The Financial Services Council (FSC) cross-border flows report shows that Asia accounts for 66% of all funds flowing into Australia. The FSC is asking the government to implement recommendations in the Johnson report which include the creation of an Asia Region Funds Passport that would make it easier for Australians to invest directly in equities in a number of Asian countries and vice versa. More...

Few impediments to super funds making "impact investments"

MEDIA – 05 December 2013 – There exist no legal or other barriers to superannuation funds making so-called "impact investments", according to new research from the University of Sydney Business School "impact investments" are those that "seek positive social and environmental outcomes along with financial returns". More...

Review of anti-money laundering laws announced

ATTORNEY-GENERAL – 04 December 2013 – The Minister for Justice has announced a review of Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) laws. Transaction information provided under AML/CTF laws is vital for following the money trail to crack down on serious and organised crime groups. More...

Ethics hinders career progression, executives admit

MEDIA – 03 December 2013 – More than half of financial services executives say adhering to ethical standards inhibits career progression at their firm, according to a global survey by the CFA Institute. The survey found that although financial services executives overwhelmingly recognise the importance of ethical behaviour in the industry, there is still a significant gap between beliefs and industry practices. More...

MySuper landscape emerges

SUPERRATINGS – 02 December 2013 – With public disclosure documents now available for over 65 MySuper products, SuperRatings has conducted an analysis of fees and investment options available to members in the new MySuper landscape. Whilst over 95 MySuper products have received APRA approval, a significant number are yet to launch their product to the market. More...

Government commences super system consultation

MEDIA - 28 November 2013 – Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos has released a discussion paper on governance, transparency and competition in the superannuation sector, seeking consultation from industry. The paper – Better regulation and governance, enhanced transparency and improved competition in superannuation. More...

Superannuation discussion paper released for comment

ARTHUR SINODINOS – 28 November 2013 – Restoring stability and certainty to superannuation system is a key aspect of the Government's agenda to build a strong and prosperous economy, with the Assistant Treasurer releasing discussion paper for public consultation to meet the Government's election commitments to improve governance and increased transparency of information. More...

Government's changes to super must consider fund performance

CONSTRUCTION & BUILDING INDUSTRY SUPER – 28 November 2013 – Cbus has responded to the release by the Federal Government of a discussion paper on the regulation, governance, transparency and competition in superannuation by calling for fund performance to be the key consideration in any proposed regulatory changes. More...

ASIC issues guidance on shorter PDSs

MEDIA – 28 November 2013 – Following a review of short-form product disclosure statements (PDSs), ASIC has released additional guidance about page length, font size and the prominence of warnings. Shorter PDSs must also explain the cooling off period, and costs must be included in the document along with potential benefits, said ASIC. More...

Finance and capital formation in Australia: Australia's financial system losing its "mojo"

INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA – 28 November 2013 – Ground breaking new research from Industry Super Australia has found that Australia's finance sector has become half as efficient today as it was 20 years ago at transforming savings into investment in the real economy. More...

FSC commends discussion on default superannuation and governance

FINANCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL – 28 November 2013 – The government's move to examine the issue of competition in default superannuation system under modern awards has been commended by the Financial Services Council. This follows the release of a superannuation discussion paper which outlines proposals for changes to superannuation governance, default fund reforms and MySuper refinements. More...

Member returns must be at the centre of super overhaul

INDUSTRY FUND NETWORK – 28 November 2013 – Industry Super Australia (ISA) has called for member returns to be central to proposed changes to the regulation of the superannuation sector canvassed in a Government discussion paper released. More...

Maximum FOS fee set to double: FSC

MEDIA – 26 November 2013 – The maximum membership fee payable to the Financial Ombudsman Service for a conglomerate is set to more than double, from $11,000 to $25,000, according to the Financial Services Council. More...

Cyber cover takes off as privacy crackdown looms

MEDIA – 25 November 2013 – AIG and the University of Canberra's Centre for Internet Safety are releasing a white paper that estimates 65% of sensitive or confidential information held by SMEs is not encrypted or safeguarded by cyber cover. The new Privacy Act will carry data-breach fines of $1.7 million for companies or $340,000 for individuals. More...

Management "tone" holds key to risk culture

MEDIA – 25 November 2013 – The "tone from the top" is crucial to a sound risk culture, according to a new guideline from the Financial Stability Board. The behaviour of directors and senior management reflects an organisation's core values, and leaders "should systematically develop, monitor and assess the culture of the financial institution. More...

Senate urged to support Low Income Superannuation Scheme

AIST – 26 November 2013 – The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) will step up its call to save the Low Income Superannuation Contribution (LISC) scheme at a special Senate Economic Legislation Committee hearing. More...

Government's red tape reduction delivers $50 million in savings for Australia's super industry

ARTHUR SINODINOS – 22 November 2013 – The Assistant Treasurer announced almost $50 million in savings each year for the superannuation industry as part of the Abbott Government's initiatives to reduce red tape and compliance by $1 billion per year, including the use of the Standard Business Reporting's (SBR) fully automated electronic service, SuperTICK. More...

Report 377 – Review on advice on retail structured products

ASIC – 04 December 2013 – This report reviews personal advice to invest in unlisted and unquoted retail structured products. The report found that in approximately half of the files, there was insufficient evidence to show that advisers had met their obligations to investigate clients' relevant circumstances, the subject matter of the advice and then to provide appropriate recommendations. ( REP 377)

SRS 711.0 – SuperStream Benchmarking

APRA – 04 December 2013 – The reporting standard SRS 711.0 SuperStream Benchmarking.

Response to Submissions - Superannuation Reporting Standard SRS 711.0 SuperStream Benchmarking Measures and More...

Review of Australia's AML/CTF laws

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT – 4 November 2013 – The review of Australia's AML/CTF laws – which is required by section 251 of the AML/CTF Act – provides an opportunity to consult businesses and identify possible enhancements and simplifications to make these laws even more effective. Terms of reference for the review and an Issues Paper which outlines key areas for consideration are available on the Attorney-General's Department website here. The 2013 typologies and case studies report is available from www.austrac.gov.au.

Cbus launches new retirement income stream default option

CONSTRUCTION & BUILDING INDUSTRY SUPER – 5 December 2013 – Cbus has launched a "Conservative Growth" option reflecting a desire from members for a middle ground alternative between growth and conservative investments. The new option aims to provide an after tax return of inflation plus 3.25% over rolling 10 year periods 75% of the time while keeping investment fees at an estimated low 0.51% per annum. More...

ASIC: Submissions open for Superannuation Discussion Paper

ASIC – 28 November 2013 – ASIC has issued Consultation Paper 291 Keeping superannuation websites up to date which sets out options for public disclosure on websites of registrable superannuation entities (RSEs). The paper was released on 28 November 2013 and the closing date for submissions is 12 February 2014. More information about the discussion paper is available.

Note: s29QB1 of the Supervision Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) requires an RSE licensee to disclose on the RSE's website. ASIC's preferred option is to modify the law to give RSE licensees a "safe harbour", so that if they update the RSE's website within a certain time (generally, 14 days), they would be taken to comply with their updating obligation.

ASIC updates disclosure guidance for shorter PDSs

ASIC – 27 November 2013 – ASIC updated Information Sheet ( INFO 155) provides concise guidance for industry on technical issues related to implementation of the product disclosure regime under Pt 7.9 of the Corporations Act 2001 and the related Corporations Regulations for superannuation products and simple managed investment schemes, referred to as "the shorter PDS regime".

ASIC updates disclosure guidance for shorter PDSs

Legislation

Commonwealth

ASIC Class Order [CO 13/1406]

This class order notionally inserts section 912AAB into the Corporations Act 2001 which contains the minimum standards that a responsible entity must meet in relation to the holding of interests in land required for the operation of a registered managed investment scheme to ensure the land holding arrangements enable the scheme to be operated efficiently, honestly and fairly (27 November 2013). More...

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