Australia: Superannuation - What's News - 25 February 2014

Last Updated: 3 March 2014

In the media

Super starts slow in 2014
MEDIA – 20 February 2014 – Superannuation had a sluggish start to 2014, with the median superannuation balanced option recording a 0.9% fall for the month of January, according to SuperRatings. Super starts slow in 2014

ISA MySuper "quality filter" claims "wrong"
FSC – 20 February 2014 – Industry Super Australia's (ISA) support of the current MySuper "quality filter" has been condemned by the Financial Services Council, which says the default fund selection tool provides little benefit for employers. More...

ASIC could implement immediate suspension of advisers
MEDIA – 20 February 2014 – Senior Executive Leader Greg Kirk made clear that under the current legal settings ASIC needs to establish proof, have a hearing, give the adviser a right to be heard and follow formal legal processes. More...

ASIC boss "worried" about financial advice
MEDIA – 20 February 2014 – ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft has aired his concerns about the financial advice sector in front of a Senate inquiry, labelling it "one of the riskier [sectors] that we regulate". More...

ASIC releases whistleblower guidance
MEDIA– 19 February 2014 – The corporate regulator has released an information sheet on whistleblowing. Information Sheet 52 comes amid a Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into the performance of ASIC, which was launched following a Fairfax investigation into ASIC's handling of whistleblower complaints against the CBA's advice arm. More...

The facts on the Coalition Government's Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) amendments
TREASURY – 18 February 2014 – As foreshadowed publicly in 2013, the Government will make regulations to give effect to its FOFA amendments, to the extent legally possible, to provide certainty to industry prior to the legislation being passed by the Parliament. More...

Sinodinos downplays FOFA amendment concerns
MEDIA – 18 February 2014 – The Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos has rejected Industry Super Australia's (ISA's) claim that any amendments to the FOFA regulations will be subject to legal challenges, revealing that legislation will be introduced to Parliament in coming weeks. More...

Industry resists full portfolio disclosure
MEDIA – 17 February 2014 – The superannuation and funds management industry has universally resisted the move towards full transparency of portfolio holdings in the discussion paper, "Better regulation and governance, enhanced transparency and improved competition in superannuation industry bodies". More...

Financial system inquiry to cost $5.8 million
MEDIA – 17 February 2014 – Treasury predicts the financial services inquiry will cost $3.6 million this financial year, which it is looking to cover in this year's budget. It also wants a further $200,000 funding for the department, to cover internal costs. More...

Don't shift $160 million of red tape onto employers: Industry Super Australia
ISA – 17 February 2014 – Industry Super Australia (ISA) has urged the government not to increase red tape on employers by removing quality filters that assist employers selecting default super funds for their employees. More...

AVCAL submission to Discussion Paper on superannuation regulation and governance
AVCAL – 17 February 2014 – AVCAL strongly supports transparency and disclosure by superannuation funds, but states it is vital that any such disclosure does not result in an outcome that is detrimental to superannuation members' interests, which would be contrary to its policy intent. More...

Industry funds still resisting governance changes
MEDIA – 13 February 2014 – The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has sought to resist a push to have superannuation funds subject to the same governance arrangements as companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), arguing their trust structures make this inappropriate. More...

Super fund reform ignores member rights
GOVERNANCE INSTITUTE – 12 February 2014 – Director accountability and member empowerment in the form of new measures to give fund members the all-important right to vote directors in or out must be the centrepiece of any effective reform of superfund governance, Governance Institute of Australia has told the Treasury review into superfund regulation and governance. More...

FPA slams detractors of best interest amendment
MEDIA – 12 February 2014 – The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has stated that "consumers have nothing to fear from the proposed amendments" that will remove a sub-section of the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) legislation referring to the best interest duty. More...

ASIC extends short PDS relief
MEDIA – 12 February 2014 – ASIC has extended interim class order relief from the shorter product disclosure statement (PDS) regime for multi-funds, superannuation platforms and hedge funds. A class order has extended the relief which was due to expire on 22 June 2014, for a further 12 months, to 30 June 2015. More...

Regulation holding financial services back: Brogden
MEDIA – 11 February 2014 – Financial Services Council (FSC) chief executive John Brogden has blamed "out-dated" regulation and taxation for Australia's failure to effectively export its financial services business (11 February 2014). More...

Chronology of major superannuation and retirement income changes in Australia: FSC 2014-15 Federal Budget Submission
FSC – 10 February 2014 – Financial Services Council's submission for the 2014-15 Federal Budget focuses on two core themes: Budget sustainability and Exporting and growing financial services- making recommendations to grow Australia's largest industry through policy and taxation changes that can improve competitiveness and drive financial services exports. More...

Senate Inquiry – Opening statement 19 February 2014
MEDIA – 19 February 2014 – Speaking notes from Greg Medcraft, Chairman, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, opening statement to the Senate inquiry into the performance of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. More...

APRA quarterly superannuation statistic: December 2013
APRA – 20 February 2014 – APRA has released its December 2013 Quarterly Superannuation Performance publication. Total estimated assets, which include the assets of self-managed superannuation funds and the balance of life office statutory funds, rose to $1.8 trillion at 31 December 2013. More...

Fourth global AML survey
KPMG – 13 February 2014 – Anti-money laundering (AML) measures are an increasing priority for boards and senior management across Australia but awareness. The found that 88% of respondents indicated AML is a priority for boards and senior management, up from 62% in 2011. KPMG's fourth Global AML Survey

ASIC: Information Sheet 52 "Whistleblowers and whistleblower protection"
ASIC – 18 February 2014 – The information sheet explains: reporting important information to ASIC; how we will communicate with whistleblowers; who is a whistleblower; the protections available to whistleblowers under the law, how ASIC deals with information from whistleblowers. INFO 52

AIST submission to the Government's Superannuation Discussion Paper on governance, transparency and competition
AIST – 13 February 2014 – AIST says super funds should not be forced to include a mandated third of independent directors on their boards, but the law should be changed to allow them to do so if they wish. More...

Consultation: Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 2) Bill
Interested parties are invited to comment on the provisions to clarify the restriction on GST refunds in the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 2) Bill and the associated explanatory material. Closing date for submissions: Friday, 28 February 2014. More...

Reminder: The Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Reducing Illegal Early Release and Other Measures) Bill
The Bill did not pass the House of Representatives under the former Labor government. Provisions will be re-introduced enabling the ATO to impose penalties on for breaches including fining trustees for: not keeping proper records, not keeping minutes of their meetings, not lodging returns, and more. The provisions are due to come into effect on 1 July 2014. More...



Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 1) Regulation 2014
This regulation amends the Income Tax Assessment Regulations 1997 and the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Regulations 1993 to prescribe an interim method for calculating the amount of an individual's 'defined benefit contributions' for the purposes of Division 293 tax to enable the Commissioner of Taxation to determine an individual's liability for the 2012-13 financial year, updates the lists of public sector superannuation schemes, and prescribes the Australian Taxation Office as an 'approved clearing house'. (19 February 2014) More...

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