Australia: Superannuation & Funds Management - What's News - 26 March 2014

Last Updated: 28 March 2014
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Independent ratings continue to show industry super funds best option for default
ISA – 20 March 2014 – The latest independent rating of superannuation fund performance has found the industry super funds sector has again outperformed the retail superannuation fund sector, typically owned by banks, over both the short and long term (based on rolling median returns). More...

Government limits general advice exemption in FOFA amendments
MEDIA – 20 March 2014 – The Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) amendments bill that was introduced into the Parliament yesterday has limited the general advice exemption, but does not explicitly forbid commissions. The Corporations Amendment (Streamlining of FOFA) Bill 2014 did address the issue of conflicted remuneration in general advice. More...

FOFA amendments tabled
MEDIA – 20 March 2014 – The government has tabled its amendments to the FOFA legislation, with varying degrees of support from the financial services industry. The Corporations Amendment (Streamlining of Future of Financial Advice) Bill 2014 was introduced in parliament by the parliamentary secretary to the Treasurer, Steven Ciobo. More...

FOFA amendments welcomed
AUSTRALIAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION – 20 March 2014 – the ABA said the Government's proposed amendments to the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) legislation will ensure consumers have access to free, simple advice. More...

FOFA legislation commended
FINANCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL – 19 March 2014 – The Financial Services Council has thrown its support behind the FOFA legislation tabled in Parliament. John Brogden, CEO of the Financial Services Council said: "Technical amendments
in the legislation will now allow consumers to get the advice they can afford and want, and brings clarity and certainty to the advice community, particularly in relation to scalable advice and the best interest duty." More...

Government acknowledges FPA concerns on advice
FINANCIAL PLANNING ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA – 19 March 2014 – The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) has welcomed the Government's amended restrictions to the general advice exemption under FOFA. The Corporations Amendment (Streamlining of Future of Financial Advice) Bill 2014 was introduced in Parliament today. More...

Hasty changes to financial advice laws not in consumers' or industry's interests
ISA – 18 March 2014 – ISA is concerned that normal parliamentary scrutiny will be pre-empted by sweeping regulatory changes that could take effect in just a matter of weeks. Rather than create certainty, the regulatory changes risk creating significant uncertainty for both consumers and industry. More...

Changes to FOFA best interests duty will not impact consumers: New legal advice
FINANCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL – 18 March 2014 – The Financial Services Council has obtained new legal advice which confirms proposed amendments to the best interests duty in the FOFA amendments will continue to require a financial adviser to act in the be interests of their client and will not reduce consumer protection. More...

Groundbreaking report confirms that superannuation has "grown up"
ISA – 18 March 2014 – Industry Super Australia today launched Funding Australia: Superannuation and the Financial System, a groundbreaking study that charts the course of super's rise and rise over the last twenty years. More...

New report shows intra-fund advice is low-cost and appropriate
ASFA – 18 March 2014 – The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) today released a new report demonstrating that intra-fund advice is provided at a relatively low cost per member per year. More...

Productivity Commission report on infrastructure signals super breakthrough
ISA – 13 March 2014 – The release today of the Productivity Commission's (PC) Draft Report into Public Infrastructure, could pave the way for substantial new investment by super funds in infrastructure. More...

Eight-point plan for global pensions dialogue required to tackle challenges ahead: ASFA
ASSOCIATION OF SUPERANNUATION FUNDS AUSTRALIA – 13 March 2014 – ASFA CEO Pauline Vamos has called for an eight-point discussion regarding the way pensions are delivered globally, to ensure pension systems across the world are positioned to meet the challenges ahead. More...

Baird and Hockey to host forum on infrastructure and superannuation
NSW GOVERNMENT – 13 March 2014 – Mr Baird used a keynote speech to Infrastructure Partnerships Australia to announce that he and Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey will host a Forum on Superannuation and Infrastructure in Sydney in mid-2014 regulators to discuss
barriers to greater investment in infrastructure by super funds. More...

Major superannuation and retirement income changes in Australia: a chronology
APH LIBRARY RESEARCH PAPER – 11 March 2014 – The purpose of this chronology of key events is to provide an historical context with which to understand the evolution of superannuation and retirement income policy in Australia. More...

Funding Australia: Superannuation and the Financial System
ISA – 18 March 2014 – The report finds that super is already providing over $70 billion in retirement benefits each year – double that of the aged pension, and just last year the super system invested an aggregate of about $30 billion in infrastructure, private equity, and direct property. Key findings from the report are presented in this infographic: Superannuation: funding retirement, funding Australia; Download document

Future of Financial Advice Amendments – Details-stage Regulation Impact Statement
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE – 19 March 2014 – Australia's financial services industry is a significant part of the Australian economy, driven by Australia's ageing population and increasing pool of superannuation funds. An options-stage RIS was prepared by the Department of the Treasury to facilitate consultation. A details stage RIS was subsequently prepared and certified by the Department of the Treasury, and has been assessed as adequate by the Office of Best Practice Regulation. More...

AML/CTF Act, Rules and regulations review
The closing date for submissions to the Issues Paper for the Review of the AML/CTF Act, Regulations and AML/CTF Rules has been extended until Friday 28 March 2014. More....

ASIC Information Sheet 196: Audit quality – the role of directors and audit committees
ASIC – 17 March 2014 – The role of directors and audit committees sheet explains: why audit quality is important; the responsibilities of the auditor; the roles of directors and audit committees; the responsibilities of directors for auditor independence; who should manage the appointment of auditors; what matters should be considered in setting audit fees, and what directors and audit committees can do to promote audit quality. ( INFO 196)

Fair Work Australia: Superannuation 2014 Review – Statement issued
FAIR WORK AUSTRALIA – 13 March 2014 – The Expert Panel issued a Statement on 11 March 2014 finalising the notices, forms and timetable for the 2014 review of default superannuation fund terms in modern awardsM.

Fair Work Australia: notices published
A Notice inviting superannuation funds offering a standard MySuper product to apply to the Commission to have the product listed on the Default Superannuation List. Applications must be lodged with the Commission by Monday, 28 April 2014.

A Notice inviting superannuation funds offering an employer MySuper product and employers to which an employer MySuper product relates to apply to the Commission to have the product included on the Schedule of Approved Employer MySuper Products. Applications must be lodged with the Commission by Monday, 28 April 2014.

Reminder: The Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Reducing Illegal Early Release and Other Measures) Bill
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 01 July 2014. More...

ASIC Class Order [CO 14/55]

ASIC – 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...




Notice of assent to legislation
The following Commonwealth bills received Royal Assent on 18 March 2014:
Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 1) Act 2014

Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 1) Act No 11 of 2014
An Act to amend the law relating to taxation and superannuation, and for related purposes. Schedule 1—Unlawful payments from regulated superannuation funds; Schedule 2—Administrative directions and penalties for contraventions relating to self-managed superannuation funds. Schedule 3—Phase-out of rebate for medical expenses; Schedule 4—Deductible gift recipients. Registered: 20 March 2014. Date of Assent: 18 March 2014. More...

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