Australia: Superannuation & Funds Management - What's News - 29 January 2014

Last Updated: 3 February 2014
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Excellence and best practice paramount in governance debate
ASFA – 22 January 2014 – Amidst continued debate regarding the best model for superannuation fund governance, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) says that the focus should be on promoting excellence and best practice, regardless of board composition. More...

Super returns soar in 2013
MEDIA – 21 January 2014 – Resurgent share markets have helped drive super funds to their best returns in 20 years with the median growth fund returning 17.5% — the second highest performance since the introduction of compulsory super in 1992, according to the latest Chant West superannuation fund performance survey. More..

Industry super funds outperform yet again
ISA – 21 January 2014 – The latest independent rating of superannuation fund performance has found industry super funds have outperformed retail superannuation funds, typically owned by banks, over both the short and long term (based on median returns). The SuperRatings' Fund Crediting Rate Survey (to 31 December 2013) has found that the median industry superannuation fund outperformed the median retail fund over 1, 3, 7 and 10 years. More...

UK financial advice reforms miss the mark
MEDIA –20 January 2014 – The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued new guidance making clear that financial advisers and product providers share responsibility for managing potential conflicts of interest relating to distribution and service agreements. More...

Treasury justifies FOFA changes
MEDIA – 15 January 2014 – Treasury has defended the government's amendments to FOFA in a new regulatory impact statement, highlighting changes to grandfathering that will promote greater competition between licensees. More...

Comparing superannuation sectors "a futile exercise"
SPAA – 15 January 2014 – The latest Australian Taxation Office (ATO) figures on investment performance and fees for self-managed super funds highlight the futility of comparing these funds with other superannuation sectors. Graeme Colley, Director, Technical and Professional Standards, of the SMSF Professionals' Association of Australia (SPAA), says the organisation has always argued such comparisons serve no purpose. More...

APRA statistics show not-for-profit funds outperform
AIST – 10 January 2014 – The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees has welcomed the release of the APRA Statistics Superannuation Fund-level Rates of Return (June 2013) with not-for-profit funds the clear standout. The statistics show that of the 50 funds with top ten-year fund-level rates of return, all but two are corporate, industry and public sector. More...

Media Super responds to ASIC fine
MEDIA – 10 January 2014 – Media Super has said its error in cautioning members about the potential costs and risks of SMSFs was minor and that imposing a financial penalty was an "over-reaction". More...

Anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing review
GOVERNANCE INSTITUTE – 09 January 2014 – The Federal Attorney-General's Department and AUSTRAC have jointly announced a review of the money laundering and counter-terrorism framework comprising of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006, the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Regulations 2008, and the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules (the Framework). More...

Government tones down financial advice reform
GOVERNANCE INSTITUTE – 09 January 2014 – The Assistant Treasurer, Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos, has announced further reforms to the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) legislation in keeping with an election promise to implement measures to reduce the compliance costs and regulatory burden on the financial services sector. More...

ASIC relief paves way for ASX managed funds service
MEDIA – 08 January 2014 – ASIC has issued class order relief that will allow retail clients to apply for managed funds electronically, without the need to complete a physical application form. Class order 13/1621 exempts responsible entities of managed investment schemes available through the Fund Settlement Service from only issuing interests in response to application forms included in product disclosure statements (PDSs). More...

Comment on the governance of superannuation funds
OAI GROUP – 09 January 2014 – Chief Executive Australian Industry Group Innes Willox said Ai Group is the employer shareholder in the Trustee of AustralianSuper – a leading Australian superannuation fund. Ai Group takes a close interest in the proper governance of AustralianSuper and other superannuation funds. Comment on the governance of superannuation funds

Life made easier for small business
TREASUIRY – 07 January 2014 – As part of this first step the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will take over the running of the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House. The Government says the ATPs best placed to increase the take up rate of the clearing house as they have access to data on who is eligible for this free service. More...

Cbus calls for liquidity backing for public infrastructure investment
CBUS – 07 January 2014 – Cbus Super has recommended that the Government explore liquidity options to allow for greater infrastructure investment by APRA regulated superfunds in its submission to the Productivity Commission's Inquiry into Public Infrastructure. More...

SPAA says professional advice should underpin super choice
SPAA – 07 January 2014 – The $10,200 penalty imposed by ASIC on Media Super is a warning shot across the bows of APRA regulated funds about their public commentary on SMSFs. Graeme Colley, Director, Technical and Professional Standards, of the SMSF Professionals' Association of Australia (SPAA), says it has always been the association's view that there is room for all superannuation sectors and comparisons between them is an "apples and oranges" approach. More...

Super funds return over 15% in 2013
MEDIA – 07 January 2014 – Superannuation funds had their best performing year in 2013, with the median superannuation balance option increasing by 15.5% for the calendar year, SuperRatings' estimates have shown. More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

APRA annual superannuation statistics to 30 June 2013
APRA – 08 January 2014 – The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) Annual Superannuation Bulletin for the financial year to 30 June 2013. More...

APRA superannuation fund level performance data APRA – 08 January 2014 – The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) performance data for individual superannuation funds, covering the 10 year period from 2004 to 2013. More...

In practice and courts

Revised authorised external auditors policy
AUSTRAC – 24 December 2013 – Subsection 164(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) empowers the AUSTRAC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to authorise a specified individual to be an external auditor for the purposes of the AML/CTF Act, in particular subsections 161(2) and 162(2). AUSTRAC has developed a policy statement on authorising external auditors in order to provide guidance as well as transparency and accountability in how authorisation of individuals as external auditors will be conducted by the AUSTRAC CEO. More...

ASIC Consultation Paper 219 "Keeping superannuation websites up-to-date"
ASIC is seeking feedback on its recently published Consultation Paper 219 Keeping superannuation websites up to date. Australian Securities and Investment Commission website.

ASFA Action 2014
ASFA – 02 January 2014 – SuperStream contributions standards: induction and extended transition period | Pre-Budget submission 2014-15 | New accounting standard for super: revised draft released | Approved Audit Report Form released. ASFA Action

ASFA submission to ATO
ASFA – 22 January 2014 – Draft 'Schedule 1 – Transitional Arrangements' to the Superannuation Data and Payment Standards (2012). Full Submission | Summary


Tarrant and Australian Securities and Investments Commission [2013] AATA 926
Corporations Law – banning order – failure to comply with a financial services law – failure to have reasonable basis for financial advice – failure to disclose information about remuneration – false or misleading statements in respect of financial products – misleading or deceptive conduct in respect of a financial product or service.

Corporations Law – banning order – length of banning order – no findings of fraud or dishonesty – contraventions serious and caused loss – applicant's lack of insight into gravity of breaches – seven year banning order affirmed.

Practice and Procedure – application for dismissal of proceeding – failure by applicant to comply with directions of the Tribunal – circumstances in which Tribunal may dismiss application without proceeding to review the decision. More...

Mills v Superannuation Complaints Tribunal [2013] FCA 1375 COSTS – whether the Court should exercise its discretion and make an order that there be no order as to costs – whether special circumstances exist.

Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993 s14AA (2), 37(5)-(6); State Superannuation Regulations 2001 (WA) reg 12; Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) s43. More...

Reeve v Commonwealth of Australia [2014] ACTSC 1
TORTS – Negligence – negligent misstatement – pure economic loss – negligent misstatement proven.

TORTS – Negligence – common law negligence – pure economic loss – no specific duty of care identified – claim dismissed on this cause of action.

TORTS – Breach of statutory duty – whether s4(5) of the Superannuation Act 1922 (Cth) or s11(1) of the Superannuation Act 1976 (Cth) create a statutory duty – they do not – claim dismissed on this cause of action.

DAMAGES – damages for negligent misstatement – where the negligent misstatement lead the plaintiff to not join a public sector superannuation fund when eligible – where subsequent competing superannuation scenarios arose as a consequence – use of competing actuarial reports in the assessment of damages in these circumstances – turns on its own facts.

SUPERANNUATION – Public service funds – availability of public service superannuation funds to 'temporary' Commonwealth employees under the Superannuation Act 1976 (Cth).

TAXES AND DUTIES – tax on a judgment sum – whether tax liability will be assessed on a judgment sum – leave granted to apply for award of additional damages if liability assessed.

Limitation Act 1986 (ACT); Superannuation Act 1927 (Cth), s4(5)(c); Superannuation Act 1976 (Cth), s11, 16(4), 66(2), 132, 137(1), 139, Div 3 of Pt IX; Superannuation Act 1990 (Cth). More...

Locker v SAS Trustee Corporation (No. 2) [2013] NSWIRComm 113
APPEAL – Application for leave to appeal and appeal from a first instance judgment in which the Court dismissed an appeal brought pursuant to s 88 of the Superannuation Administration Act 1996 against a decision of the respondent – Respondent declined to certify the appellant was incapable of personally exercising the functions of a police officer thereby depriving the appellant of a hurt-on-duty pension – Parties required to address question of leave as a threshold issue.

STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – which was the applicable statutory provision: was it the provision at the time of the appellant's resignation from the police force or the provision that applied when the application for certification of the appellant's infirmity was made 12 years later? No error at first instance in primary judge determining that the applicable statutory provision was the later provision – Factual findings open on the evidence – Leave refused. More...

Tobin v Commonwealth of Australia (No. 2) [2013] ACTSC 271
DAMAGES – damages for negligent misstatement – where the negligent misstatement lead the plaintiff to not join a public sector superannuation fund when eligible – where there would have been a transfer from the CSS to the PSS – whether the plaintiff would have taken the benefit as a lump sum, pension, or combination – turns on its own facts. More...

Duffy v Commonwealth of Australia [2013] ACTSC 239
TORTS – Negligence – negligent misstatement – pure economic loss – negligent misstatement proven – common law negligence – breach of statutory duty – decided in accordance with Meredith v Commonwealth (No 2) [2013] ACTSC 221.

DAMAGES – damages for negligent misstatement – where the negligent misstatement lead the plaintiff to not join a public sector superannuation fund when eligible – where subsequent competing superannuation scenarios arose as a consequence – use of competing actuarial reports in the assessment of damages in these circumstances – turns on its own facts.

SUPERANNUATION – Public service funds – availability of public service superannuation funds to 'temporary' Commonwealth employees under the Superannuation Act 1976 (Cth) – application of s3(3) of the Superannuation Act 1976 (Cth) – where an employee resigned but returned after a month – contract did not continue.

TAXES AND DUTIES – tax on a judgment sum – whether tax liability will be assessed on a judgment sum – same approach as Guy v Commonwealth [2013] ACTSC 128 – leave granted to apply for award of additional damages if liability assessed.

Superannuation Act 1976 (Cth), s3, 16, 66; Superannuation Act 1990 (Cth); McCarry G J, Termination of Employment. More...



New legislation introduced to Parliament
Sitting will recommence 25 February 2014. View all Bills before the Australian Parliament

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