Australia: Superannuation & Funds Management - What's News - 12 March 2014

Last Updated: 15 March 2014

In the media

New superannuation account balance data shows gender gap still persists
ASFA – 7 March 2014 – New research prepared by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has confirmed that women still lag substantially behind men when it comes to their superannuation savings, according to ABS-sourced data released by ASFA. More...

New laws target promoters of early release schemes
MEDIA – 7 March 2014 – The senate has passed a bill allowing promoters of illegal early release schemes to be prosecuted. While the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) (SIS) Act already stipulates when early release of funds is and is not legal, previously there was no law holding promoters of illegal schemes to account. More...

Super funds trial digital membership card
MEDIA – 6 March 2014 – An undisclosed number of Australian superannuation funds are piloting a new digital membership card that would replace physical cards issued to super fund members. More...

Super fund websites not up to scratch: study
MEDIA – 6 March 2014 – Superannuation funds are lagging behind on the technology front with almost two-thirds lacking a mobile-optimised website, according to a new study. The IQ Group Benchmarking digital and mobile services study surveyed the top 50 retail, industry and public sector superannuation funds and revealed the "limits of digital readiness" of the super industry. More...

Managed investment schemes discussion paper released
CAMAC – 6 March 2014 – in developing this discussion paper, CAMAC has taken the view that the regulatory regime for schemes should be aligned with that for companies, unless there are compelling reasons for treating schemes differently. More...

ASIC drops planned MDA changes
MEDIA – 6 March 2014 – Draft regulations were due to be released in April this year, however, ASIC has now stated there will be no change to the rules, saying it would wait to see how FOFA would affect MDA operators. It also cited the Coalition's deregulation agenda and its announcement of a moratorium on further financial services regulation. More...

CSSA calls for intra-fund fee transparency
MEDIA – 4 March 2014 – The Corporate Super Specialist Alliance (CSSA) has expressed serious concerns around the way the intra-fund advice fee is structured, claiming its current form does not assist the improvement of quality of financial advice. More...

Australia has the right investment mix for superannuation: FSC new research
FINANCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL – 27 February 2014 – Australia is on par with the UK, USA and Canada in the proportion of superannuation (private pension) assets invested in equities. New research for the Financial Services Council by Mercer has benchmarked Australia's asset allocation for superannuation against 11 other comparable private pension schemes around the world. More...

FOFA changes could start before May: Sinod
MEDIA – 26 February 2014 – The Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos told the Senate Standing Committee on Economics today that Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) proposed amendments could come into effect "earlier than May". More...

New television commercial ups the ante between industry and retail super funds
ISA – 25 February 2014 – Industry SuperFunds today launched a new version of the iconic Compare the Pair campaign highlighting the sustained average outperformance of their funds over the last decade. The launch marks the tenth year for one of the finance sectors most influential consumer awareness campaigns. More...

Australian pension funds growth the world's highest
AUSTRADE – 24 February 2014 – Australia has experienced the highest growth rate in pension (superannuation) assets and remains the world's fourth largest pension market, valued at US$1.6 trillion, according to the Towers Watson Global Pensions Asset Study – 2014. The figure represented a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% between 2003 and 2013. More...

FOS chief explains role monitoring systemic failures
MEDIA – 24 February 2014 – The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) operates a system to log and investigate systemic failures in companies, Chief Ombudsman Shane Tregillis says. As part of our ASIC approval we do have an obligation in relation to the identification and follow-up of a systemic issue. More...

Caution on financial advice law changes
MEDIA – 24 February 2014 – The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) says winding back a ban on so-called "conflicted remuneration" – commissions paid to sales staff who put people into particular investment products – for general financial advice would have negative outcomes for consumers. More...

Sinodinos announces SuperStream governance structure
MEDIA – 24 February 2014 – The government has announced that the ATO will have stewardship of the SuperStream gateway network for the next two years. During this two-year period the ATO will "convene a governance group made up of industry participants, including gateway operators, superannuation funds and employer representatives. More...

Advisers exposed to "unreasonable" claims
MEDIA – 21 February 2014 – The Governance Institute has penned a submission to Treasury calling for the incorporation of an "onus of proof" into the FOFA best interests duty. While the Governance Institute opposes the government's proposed amendments to FOFA, it has acknowledged that under the current system financial advice professionals are exposed to "unreasonable consumer claims". More...

Latest performance data cements industry funds as best option for default
ISA – 21 February 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), according to the SuperRatings' Fund Crediting Rate Survey. More...

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...

Report: Superannuation asset allocations and growth projections
FSC – 27 February 2014 – This report, prepared for the Financial Services Council by Mercer, surveys the differences in asset allocation of private pension plans around the world. The countries included in the report include: Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Asset Allocation of Pension Funds Around the World

Data alert: Australian pension funds growth
AUSTRADE – 24 February 2014 – Australia's superannuation assets rose to 105% of the GDP in 2013, up from 79% a decade ago, according to the survey of 13 major pension markets in the world.
Download the Data Alert: Australian pension funds growth the world's highest (PDF)

An update on the level and distribution of retirement savings
ASFA – March 2014 – Data from the ABS Survey of Income and Housing, compiled specifically for ASFA, updates information on the incidence of superannuation in the community and the distribution of superannuation assets between individuals. Average superannuation balances in Australia can be expected to continue to grow for many years as the private retirement-income system matures. More...

ASIC Class Order [CO 14/55]
COMLAW – 4 March 2014 – This class order operates to extend the scope of the First Exemption of CO 13/1534 to a trustee of an approved deposit fund and a pooled superannuation trust. More...

Office of Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) enforcement approach to new privacy laws: Statement
OAIC – 27 February 2014 – The Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner have issued a statement about the OAIC's enforcement approach to new privacy laws from 12 March 2014. More...

AIST submission: Review of the AML/CTF regime
AIST – 28 February 2014 – The operation of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 is required to be periodically reviewed under the Act. This is AIST's submission to the Attorney-General's Department to this review. More...

Exposure Draft: Corporations Amendment (Streamlining of Future of Financial Advice) Bill 2014
Submission to Treasury February 2014, by the Governance Institute of Australia, which recommends that all of the reforms contained in the bill be put through as legislation rather than regulations. More...

Reminder: The Superannuation Legislation Amendment(Reducing Illegal Early Release and Other Measures) Bill
Provisions will be re-introduced enabling the ATO to impose penalties 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) Bill 2014
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Steve Ciobo second reading speech introducing the legislation on 26 February 2014. The Bill will mean that anyone caught promoting an illegal early release scheme will be subject to civil penalties under the SIS Act and Regulations. Contravention of the civil penalties can result in civil or criminal penalties of up to five years imprisonment – 6 March 2014 – passed both Houses. More...

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