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

In the media

Default fund review a "systemic risk": FSC
MEDIA – 25 July 2014 – The current Fair Work Commission (FWC) process by which default superannuation funds are reviewed will cost consumers and employers $400 million, new research has found, with more than 100,000 employers and over 2.5 million working Australians will be affected, said the report. More...

Inaugural meeting of the Global Investment Forum (P20)
ASFA – 25 July 2014 – The GIF will build on the recommendations coming out of the current round of B20 and G20 meetings to develop an action plan that will deliver to governments the basic requirements of long-term investors for successful capital-raising for infrastructure and other long-term investments (24 July 2014). More...

Investors looking for responsible super funds
MEDIA – 24 July 2014 – More and more Australians are looking to "future-proof" their super through responsible options, Responsible Investment Association Australasia's 2014 Benchmark Report reveals. More...

Transparent and independent quality filter essential for default super
ISA – 24 July 2014 – ISA has requested that an inquiry be conducted into the prevalence of inducements being offered by banks to their business banking clients in exchange for securing exclusive rights to default super contributions of employees in a workplace. More...

Super boards not ready for independent directors
MEDIA – 22 July 2014 – About one-third of superannuation trustee boards are unlikely to make changes seeking independent directors while some of those who will add independent directors would only do so if it became a legal requirement. More...

ASIC "disappointed" with property schemes
MEDIA – 24 July 2014 – ASIC commissioner has labelled the standard of investor disclosure in the unlisted property sector as "disappointing". The corporate regulator recently conducted a review of its surveillance into the managed investment and superannuation sectors, including listed and unlisted property funds. More...

Inquiries put retirement income products up for debate
SPAA – 22 July 2014 – The Financial System Inquiry and Government Pension Review have the potential to open up the availability of relevant and appropriate retirement income products, Senior Manager, Technical & Policy, of SPAA told the organisation's Technical Conference. The FSI, in its interim report, said the retirement phase of superannuation was underdeveloped and did not meet the risk management needs of many retirees. More...

Industry super funds out-perform bank owned super funds over 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 years
ISA – 21 July 2014 – Commission-free industry super fund balanced funds again outperformed retail super balanced funds (such as those owned by the big banks) over all time periods (based on median rolling returns to 30 June 2014). More...

Establishing an enhanced public register of financial advisers
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE – 17 July 2014 – The Minister for Finance said the Government is progressing to establish an enhanced public register of financial advisers. A dedicated industry working group will consult with all relevant stakeholders to develop the best way of setting up this public register of financial advisers, and will consider the scope and content of the register (including a record of each adviser). More...

FPA welcomes CBA response
FPA – 18 July 2014 – The Financial Planning Association (FPA) welcomes today's announcement from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) about measures to improve adviser education and training, increase transparency in adviser quality and support the FPA 10 Point Plan. More...

ASIC raises concerns on limited licensing
MEDIA – 17 July 2014 – While the implementation of the limited AFSL regime for accountants is still in its early stages, ASIC has discovered a number of "concerning" trends emerging from the application process. ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said one of these trends was "inadequate or no evidence of RG146 training course completion for all or some of the financial products sought under the application". More...

AIST to provide comprehensive response to the Financial Systems Inquiry interim report
AIST – 16 July 2014 – AIST CEO said AIST welcomed the Inquiry's support of a robust regulatory framework for superannuation, its recognition of superannuation's important role in the economy, and the need to develop clearer objectives for the superannuation system. More...

ADCU to pave the way for low fees on Super
ADCU – 16 July 2014 – To address the exorbitant fees affecting retirement balances, Australian Defence Credit Union (ADCU) recently released two new low-fee investment options, the ADCU Capital Guaranteed Super and ADCU Capital Guaranteed Pension. More...

Productivity Commission recommends trial of new bid processes to attract super investment
ISA – 15 July 2014 – The "hybrid" model the Commission proposes for trial would encompass early participation by long-term investors such as superannuation funds in public infrastructure projects, and the unbundling of the process for securing financing from procurement. More...

Murray hands down interim report
MEDIA – 15 July 2014 – Financial System Inquiry chairman David Murray has released his interim report. Overall, the "initial assessment" of the FSI is that the Australian financial system has performed "reasonably well" but warns there is no room for complacency, flagging future financial crises, fiscal pressures, productivity growth, technology change and international integration as upcoming challenges for the system. More...

Alternative assets hit US$5.7trn
MEDIA – 15 July 2014 – Investment in alternative assets continues to rise, with total global alternative assets under management (AUM) climbing from US$5.1 trillion in 2012 to US$5.7 trillion in 2013. According to the research, the largest proportion of this is managed in direct estate funds, followed by private equity fund managers and hedge funds. More...

Senate support for Financial Advice Law Improvements according to Finance Minister
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE – 15 July 2014 – Consistent with our comprehensive statement of 20 June 2014, to provide clarity and certainty for the financial advice industry and investors seeking financial advice, the Government's changes to FOFA have been implemented through regulations which took effect on 1 July 2014, where that was legally possible. More...

Coles announces financial services joint venture
MEDIA – 15 July 2014 – Coles has announced its intention to form a joint venture financial services business with GE Capital Australia. An agreed memorandum of understanding outlines this 50:50 joint venture business that will initially offer credit cards, and personal finance products. The business will commence operations during 2015, subject to obtaining the relevant regulatory licenses and approvals. More...

Best super funds for 2013/14 financial year named
SUPERRATINGS – 21 July 2014 – Australian superannuation funds had another strong 2013/14 financial year, with the median balanced option delivering a 12.7% return over the period. Telstra Super was the best performing superannuation fund over the 2013/14 financial year, recording a 15.8% return to members. Intrust Super and UniSuper rounded out the top three, with returns of 14.0% and 13.9% respectively. The median balanced option return of 12.7% for the 2013/14 financial year marks the seventh highest return on record since the introduction of compulsory superannuation in 1992. Following on from last financial year's near record 14.7% return, this means that Australian superannuation funds have delivered their second consecutive year of double digit growth for members and returned more than 29% over the past two years. More...


Dowling and Commissioner of Taxation [2014] AATA 474
TAXATION – Superannuation – Excess non-concessional contributions tax – Whether special circumstances – Whether discretion under Division 292 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) can be exercised – Decision under review affirmed - Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) ss 292-5, 292-465. More...

Financial Services Council Ltd v Industry Super Australia Pty Limited [2014] FCAFC 92
INDUSTRIAL LAW – Fair Work Commission – four yearly review of default fund terms – two members of Expert Panel disqualified due to conflicts of interest – Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) ss 620(1A) and 622(3) – whether President entitled to appoint himself to Expert Panel – whether Expert Panel reconstituted in accordance with Act. More...



Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 4) Bill 2014
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Steve Ciobo second reading speech introducing the legislation on 17 July 2014. More...

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