Australia: Superannuation & Funds Management - What's News - 2 December 2014

In the media

APRA defends stance on alleged corruption
MEDIA – 28 November 2014 – A Federal government watchdog admits it's not in a rush to tackle alleged union corruption in some industry superannuation funds. Instead, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority is relying on other agencies which have more direct powers to address criminality. More...

ASIC digital disclosure project to boost investor understanding
ASIC – 28 November 2014 – Today ASIC announced a joint industry project to develop innovative, digital financial product disclosure that aims to boost investors' understanding of financial products. More...

Chinese investment to buoy Australia's financial services industry
MEDIA – 28 November 2014 – Australia's financial services industry is set to boom on the back of increased private Chinese investment according to one of China's most respected bankers, according to the former chief executive of China Merchants Bank. More...

Gender inequality apparent in financial services
MEDIA – 28 November 2014 – Women continue to be under-represented in the top layers of management across the financial services industry, a new government report has found. An analysis of the gender composition at Australian financial services companies conducted by the Australian Government Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). More...

LISC payment disclosure should be separate
MEDIA – 27 November 2014 – The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has come out against the Government's plan to combine the disclosure of the low income superannuation contribution (LISC) payment with other super concessional payments. More...

Industry super funds welcome APRA's move to greater transparency on super investment returns
ISA – 27 November 2014 – APRA's September quarter data on investment returns for MySuper products, issued today, shows industry super funds continue to outperform bank-owned funds with a median investment return of 1.51% compared with 1.02% for the quarter ending September 2014. More...

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces cyber security review, the first of its kind in 6 years
MEDIA – 27 November 2014 – Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced a review into cyber security to better protect the Government and businesses from online attacks. More...

Treasury seeks consultation on adviser register
MEDIA – 27 November 2014 – Treasury has started the consultation process on the public register of financial advisers, with submissions closing on 17 December 2014. The adviser register will be implemented as an amendment to the Corporations Act and approved through regulation. More...

Government and Labor agree on specific FOFA changes
MEDIA – 27 November 2014 – The Federal Government has confirmed reports that it has succeeded in reaching agreement with the Federal Opposition to reinstate key elements of its Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) changes including grandfathering. More...

New rules on foreign investment "absurd"
MEDIA – 27 November 2014 – One of 12 recommendations from the parliamentary inquiry into foreign investment in Australian property inquiry, tabled in parliament on Thursday, was that penalties be imposed on third parties who help offshore buyers to breach foreign investment rules. More...

Managed Funds, Australia, September 2014 (Cat No. 5655.0)
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS – 27 November 2014 – At 30 September 2014, the managed funds industry had $2,439.5b funds under management, an increase of $26.6b (1%) on the June quarter 2014 figure of $2,412.8b. More...

APRA Quarterly MySuper statistics: September 2014
APRA – 27 November 2014 – The APRA Quarterly Superannuation Performance Statistics indicated there was $378.1 billion in assets in MySuper products, a 128.2% increase from $165.7 billion in September 2013. September 2014 interim edition (issued 27 November 2014). More...

Business set to save $20 million with less red tape in the super system
TREASURY – 26 November 2014 – From 1 July 2015, the Government will expand access to the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH). This means all businesses with an annual turnover below the small business entity turnover threshold, currently set at $2 million will be eligible to access SBSCH with a cost free solution to help them meet their superannuation obligations. More...

HR head calls for overhaul of Fair Work Commission and industry super governance
MEDIA – 26 November 2014 – The head of Australia's HR institute is calling for wide ranging changes to the national workplace relations framework, including an overhaul of the Fair Work Commission, and better governance arrangements to improve competitiveness and transparency of industry superannuation funds. More...

MySuper assets up 128%: APRA
MEDIA – 26 November 2014 – Assets in MySuper products have risen 128.2% and now account for a third of all the assets held in APRA-regulated super funds, the prudential regulator has revealed. More...

Fund flows have doubled since 2010 – FSC Perpetual Report
FPA – 25 November 2014 – Funds flowing into Australian Managed Investment Trusts from overseas have doubled from $20 billion to $40 billion since 2010, according to a new report by Perpetual Limited and the Financial Services Council. More...

Superannuation administrator charged with $3.9 million fraud in NSW
NSW POLICE SERVICE – 25 November 2014 – Fraud and Cybercrime Squad detectives have today arrested and charged a superannuation administrator with fraud offences valued at $3.9 million. Police will allege the man, who worked as a senior administrator at a business providing services to a superannuation company, altered documents and accessed member accounts to transfer money into a number of other accounts. More...

Industry funds not exempt from FOFA
FINSIA – 25 November 2014 – According to an ISA statement, part seven of the Corporations Act, which deals with the provision of retail financial products and services, applies to any entity offering such services in the market – including all super funds. More...

What investors can expect from the financial services inquiry
AFR – 25 November 2014 – With David Murray's financial system inquiry (FSI) report expected to be released in the next week, investors are turning their minds to the winners and losers. This analysis focuses on the ramifications for the banks' equity, hybrid and debt capital investors. More...

Banking services to alternative remittance service providers and the risk-based approach under the AML/CTF Act
GOVERNMENT – 25 November 2014 – The AUSTRAC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has the power to refuse, suspend, impose conditions upon or cancel the registration of a remitter where the CEO is concerned that the continued registration of a remitter may pose an unacceptably high level of money laundering, terrorism financing or people smuggling risk. More...

Draft AML/CTF Rules specifying credit card operators open for consultation
GOVERNMENT – 25 November 2014 – Draft AML/CTF Rules specifying persons under Items 1, 2 and 3 of Table 1 in subsection 6(2) of the AML/CTF Act regarding credit card operators. A public consultation period is open from 25 November 2014 to 9 December 2014. More...

Single retirees will need to spend $767 more this year in order to live a comfortable lifestyle in retirement: ASFA Retirement Standards
ASFA – 21 November 2014 – The rising cost of living means single retirees will need to spend $767 more a year than this time last year, and couples will need to spend $1,131 more to live a comfortable lifestyle in retirement, according to the September quarter Retirement Standard released by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA). More...

Advisers given extra time for FOFA compliance
FINSIA – 20 November 2014 – The ASIC has said that it will be taking a "facilitative approach" with licensees until July next year. The vote has disallowed the Corporations Amendment (Streamlining Future of Financial Advice) Regulation 2014 and reinstated consumer protections that featured in the original Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) legislation. More...

APRA releases Quarterly Superannuation Performance statistics for September 2014
APRA – 20 November 2014 – Total estimated assets at 30 September 2014, which include the assets of self-managed superannuation funds and the balance of life office statutory funds, were $1.87 trillion. Contributions to funds with more than four members over the September 2014 quarter were $23.6 billion, up 7.2% from the September 2013 quarter ($22.0 billion). More...

ASX and Bank of China sign major agreement
MEDIA – 19 November 2014 – ASX and the Bank of China have signed a heads of agreement to develop the Renminbi (RMB) as a currency in Australia's financial markets. The heads of agreement complements the recent appointment of the Bank of China as the official RMB clearing bank in Australia by the People's Bank of China. More...

ASIC to scrutinise intra-fund advice
MEDIA – 19 November 2014 – Superannuation funds can expect a higher level of scrutiny of their intra-fund advice operations over the coming year, according to ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell. The regulator's increased scrutiny of this growing category of advice would include more onsite visits. More...

Australia-China FTA "opens door" for super, financial services
SPAA – 18 November 2014 – The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China has the potential to open up this massive market to Australia's superannuation and financial services industries, says the SMSF Professionals' Association of Australia (SPAA) CEO/Managing Director Andrea Slattery. More...

Financial Services is now Australia's largest industry
FSC – 17 November 2014 – These statistics have been revealed in a new report on the state of the financial services industry in Australia commissioned by the Financial Services Council and UBS Global Asset Management – State of the Industry: Financial Services and SMSFs in Australia. More...

New agreements will give Australian fund managers direct access to China
FSC – 17 November 2014 – The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) along with measures to allow Australian fund managers direct access into China will significantly boost financial services trade between the two countries. Combined with the Renminbi Qualified Institutional Investor (RQFII) scheme, the Free Trade Agreement delivers a new level of access in the Chinese market for Australian fund managers. More...

ASIC paves way for electronic disclosures
MEDIA – 17 November 2014 – Financial services disclosures could be delivered electronically by default under new proposals from ASIC. Providers would no longer need clients' permission to send disclosures to their email addresses. ASIC's proposal, aimed at cutting red tape and enhancing investor engagement, is now open for consultation which closes on 16 January 2015. More...

Advice restrictions "prevent risk warnings"
MEDIA – 17 November 2014 – Laws preventing insurers from giving financial advice mean they cannot warn consumers about underinsurance, the Productivity Commission has heard from Suncorp Corporate Affairs. More...

The future of Australia's super: a new framework for a better system
ASFA paper released at the ASFA 2014 National Conference, November 2014. More...

APRA releases
Letter to RSE licensees - Publication of superannuation statistics (27 November 2014).

ASFA Retirement Standard: September 2014
Figures for the December 2014 quarter will be released week commencing 9 February 2015. The most recent national figures show that, in general, a couple looking to achieve a comfortable retirement needs to spend $58,326 a year, while those seeking a 'modest' retirement lifestyle need to spend $33,784 a year. More...

FOFA changes reversed
The Corporations Amendment (Streamlining Future of Financial Advice) Regulation 2014 has been disallowed by the Senate. The FOFA changes in the Regulation will now not be implemented unless the Senate passes the Corporations Amendment (Streamlining of Future of Financial Advice) Bill 2014. ASIC has announced a transitional arrangement until 1 July 2015. ASIC's latest review of compliance by financial advisers with FOFA (as it was before the changes) is set out in Report 407.


Friar v Brown [2014] FCA 1275
SUPERANNUATION – review of decision of Superannuation Complaints Tribunal – appellant self-represented – whether Tribunal should be joined as respondent to proceedings – whether substituted service permitted. Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) r 10.24; Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993 (Cth) s 45. More...

Vault Market Pty Ltd [2014] NSWSC 1641
CORPORATIONS – financial services and markets – financial services providers – carrying on financial services business without a licence – online market for contracts for difference – holding out that has a licence when that is not the case – remedies – restraint on carrying on financial services business CORPORATIONS – financial services and markets – market misconduct and other prohibited conduct – misleading and deceptive conduct CORPORATIONS – enforcement – declarations – where provisions contravened are not civil penalty provisions – where public right to be vindicated CORPORATIONS – management and administration – duties and liabilities of officers of corporation – disqualification from managing a corporation. More...

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