Australia: Superannuation, Funds Management & Financial Services - What's News - 5 May 2015

In the media

Update on Stronger Super regime
ASIC – 1 May 2015 – ASIC today provided an update on aspects of the Stronger Super regime. The start date for portfolio holdings disclosure reporting and choice product dashboard requirements will be deferred until 1 July 2016 to allow the Federal Government further time to consult on the detail of the requirements. More...

Suspended SIV scheme raised $3 billion
MEDIA – 30 April 2015 – More than $3 billion has been invested in Australia via the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) program, which was temporarily suspended last week. The SIV program was temporarily closed to new applications on 24 April 2015 and new changes to the program are expected to be announced by the government in May. More...

Superannuation trustees under the spotlight: APRA
MEDIA – 30 April 2015 – Some of the trustees of APRA regulated super funds lack understanding of their fund's investment strategy and underlying investments, according to Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) member Helen Rowell. More...

Frydenberg to decide on advice standards in June
MEDIA – 30 April 2015 – Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is expected to release a final document outlining the measures to improve professional standards for financial advisers at the end of June. Participants in the recent roundtable also emphasised the importance of sensible transitional mechanisms, robust governance, sustainable funding and achieving enduring reform. More...

ASIC homes in on intra-fund advice
MEDIA – 30 April 2015 – ASIC had conducted proactive surveillance work into superannuation in order to develop a clearer picture surrounding the provision of intra-fund advice, the corporate watchdog said yesterday. More...

APRA releases super reporting standards
MEDIA – 29 April 2015 – The APRA has released 31 reporting standards for the superannuation industry, five of which are still open for further consultation. The final reporting standards will commence on 30 June 2015 or 1 July 2015. More...

Super lump sum myth debunked
MEDIA – 29 April 2015 – Only 16.7% of superannuation assets are withdrawn as a lump sum when members hit retirement, recent analysis from Rice Warner shows. More...

Advisers Register hits 22k
MEDIA – 29 April 2015 – Within a month of being launched the Financial Advisers Register has added about 3,000 advisers to its list, now providing consumers with an ability to search more than 22,000 in the industry. More...

Robo-advice to bring regulation challenges
MEDIA – 29 April 3 2015 – Financial services regulators needed to be prepared for the challenges that would arise as robo-advice and the consumer demand surrounding it increased in Australia, a number of industry experts said. More...

The super system – what is on APRA's watch-list?
APRA – 29 April 2015 – APRA Member Helen Rowell's speech to the AFR Banking & Wealth Summit, Sydney. More...

Obsession with fees "ill-conceived": SuperRatings
MEDIA – 28 April 2015 – Contrary to the approach adopted by the Financial System Inquiry (FSI), fees are not the most important factor to consider when comparing super funds, argues researcher SuperRatings. More...

Observations on the Financial System
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA – 28 April 2015 – Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens addresses the Australian Financial Review Banking & Wealth Summit, Sydney regarding Observations on the Financial System. More...

Harvesting the opportunities from financial innovation: How can ASIC help you?
ASIC – 28 April 2015 – ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft addresses the Australian Financial Review Banking and Wealth Summit, Sydney. More...

Achieving a stable and competitive financial system
APRA – 28 April 2015 – Speech delivered by Wayne Byrnes, Australian Financial Review Banking & Wealth Summit, Sydney. More...

ASFA: New consumer superannuation advice services fact sheet
ASFA – 28 April 2015 – ASFA has released a new fact sheet designed to help guide superannuation fund members through the different levels and types of financial advice available about their superannuation. The fact sheet is available via the independent Super Guru website. More...

APRA: package of superannuation reporting standards released
APRA – 28 April 2015 – APRA has today released 31 reporting standards for the superannuation industry, including five reporting standards released for consultation. The 26 final reporting standards released today incorporate minor changes from the material covered in these FAQs. These final standards commence on either 30 June 2015 or 1 July 2015, as specified in each standard. More...

Australian super fund regains top spot in global climate index
THE CLIMATE INSTITUTE – 27 April 2015 – Government Super Fund and AustralianSuper are among the nine global funds with an AAA rating in the index. But overall the index this year paints a disturbing picture of the inadequate management of climate risks to Australians' retirement nest eggs. More...

FPA: National Roadshows support advisers with retirement planning
FPA – 27 April 2015 – The 2015 FPA National Roadshows, which will visit 33 locations across the nation during April, May and June, focus on best practice in retirement planning and advice on industry reforms. The aim of the current series of Roadshows is to equip advisers with a workbook of strategies and tools that can be tailored to their clients' specific retirement goals. More... More...

Scrapping super safety net would snare employers in $1.8 billion red tape tangle
INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA – 24 April 2015 – A majority of employers are concerned at the red tape cost of being forced to select a workplace super fund for employees from an unranked list of 120 MySuper funds. New research estimates the cost to be as high as $1.8 billion nationally, falling most heavily on small business. More...

FSC rejects FSI super fees analysis
MEDIA – 23 April 2015 – The FSC has questioned the data upon which the FSI's recommendation on super fees and competition is predicated, warning the government to view it with caution. More...

Debate on super tax concessions welcome but needs to be considered in context
ASFA – 22 April 2015 – changes to the superannuation system should been considered as part of the broader taxation framework and the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) will be actively participating in the Government's tax discussion paper process. More...

Emphasis on fairness and sustainability is a welcome contribution to superannuation tax debate
AIST – 22 April 2015 – AIST CEO, Tom Garcia said AIST welcomed Labor's emphasis on improving the fairness and sustainability of Australia's super system and its recognition of the need to better target tax concessions. It addresses some of the key issues around fairness and sustainability. More...

Industry responds to Grattan report
MEDIA – 22 April 2015 – Industry Super Australia and the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) have responded to the latest Grattan report on superannuation fees. More...

Bi-partisan agreement needed on super tax concessions
INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA – 22 April 2015 – There is now an emerging consensus that superannuation tax concessions need to be more efficient and better targeted to deliver a sustainable and fair super system. A bi-partisan approach is essential: firstly to produce a clear objective for superannuation and then to calibrate tax concessions to achieve this objective. More...

FSC Statement on Opposition's announcement on super
FSC – 22 April 2015 – The Financial Services Council said today that the Intergenerational report has shown that Australia's ageing population will continue to place pressure on the Federal Budget. A national retirement policy should include super, the old age pension system, social security, housing and aged care systems. None of which should be considered in isolation. More...

FSC Statement on FSI: Submission to Treasury
FSC – 22 April 2015 – The FSC released its submission to Treasury on the final report of the Financial System Inquiry. Key FSC recommendations cover Financial Advice; Funds Management; Life Insurance; Superannuation; FWC process; Governance. More...

Bank-owned super funds underperformance a drag on Australia's super system
MEDIA – 21 April 2015 – SuperRatings' monthly data has once again demonstrated better long term average returns delivered by industry super funds to their members over three, five, seven and ten year periods to 31 March 2015 when compared with the bank-owned super fund sector. More...

APRA speaks on risk management and governance
APRA – 21 April 2015 – The importance of strong risk management and governance – was the subject of a speech by Ian Laughlin, Deputy Chairman of APRA, to the Macquarie University Financial Risk Day. Mr Laughlin observed that capital management, risk management and governance are three key elements that are required if an institution is to be prudentially sound. More...

ASFA Submissions
ASFA – 21 April 2015 – Consultation on update on regulatory costs savings – February 2015. More...

Super reform needed to drive lower fees – FSC Statement on the Grattan Report
FSC – 20 April 2015 – The Financial Services Council welcomes the Grattan Report on superannuation released today. Superannuation fees are higher than they should be. Reforms to both governance and structure of the default superannuation system are needed to drive competition, create larger super funds and reduce duplicate super accounts (19 April 2015). More... More...

Lower fees, higher returns: how to make superannuation work for Australians
GRATTAN INSTITUTE – 20 April 2015 – The Government must act to prevent excessive fees taking at least $40,000 from the superannuation accounts of millions of Australians at retirement, according to a new Grattan Institute report. More...

Large companies vulnerable to activist funds: Credit Suisse
MEDIA – 20 April 2015 – BHP Billiton, Caltex, CSR and Woolworths are among major Australian companies that could be vulnerable to activist funds in the near future, according to a Credit Suisse report. Analysts believe it is only a matter of time and size before the largest superannuation funds embrace activism here. More...

Merit-based selection process essential for Australia's "safety net" superannuation funds
INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA – 20 April 2015 – The Grattan Institute Report "Super Savings" adds to the consensus of other recent reviews that a merit-based selection process is essential for Australia's default superannuation funds. These funds provide a safety net of high performing funds for more than eight million Australians who do not choose their own their own fund. More...

ISA Briefing Note – Super safety net abolition – Employer cost impacts
ISA – April 2015 (release date) – Employers are keenly aware that most of their employees do not choose their own super fund, and instead rely on the "default" fund chosen by the employer. This research sets out the case for retaining and strengthening the default safety net to protect employers from an un-wanted and un-needed burden by using a merit based process to shortlist quality funds which employers can choose from with confidence. More...

Financial adviser standards consultation: Lifting the professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industry
Treasury has published a Consultation Paper in response to proposals by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services' inquiry. The paper discusses: how standards will be lifted and maintained at a specified minimum level; how minimum standards will be monitored and enforced; and mechanisms for the ongoing professionalisation of the industry. Submissions close: 7 May 2015.



ASIC Corporations (Amendment No. 3) Instrument 2015
This instrument amends ASIC Class Order [CO 10/630] to provide relief from the operation of the current long term superannuation performance reporting requirements that are proposed to be refined by proposed amending regulations (28 April 2015). More...

ASIC Superannuation (Amendment No. 1) Instrument 2015
This instrument amends ASIC Class Order [CO 14/509] (24 April 2015). More...

[Draft] Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 4) Bill 2015: Consolidation
The attached exposure draft legislation-covers five measures that were announced in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 Budgets:

  • remove a double benefit (or double detriment) that can arise in respect of certain liabilities held by a joining entity that is acquired by a consolidated group
  • remove anomalies that arise when an entity joins or leaves a consolidated group where the entity has securitised an asset
  • prevent the tax costs of a joining entity's assets from being uplifted where no tax is payable by a foreign resident owner on the disposal of the joining entity in certain circumstances
  • clarify the operation of the Taxation of Financial Arrangements provisions when certain intra-group assets or liabilities emerge from a consolidated group because a subsidiary member leaves the group
  • remove anomalies that arise when an entity leaves a consolidated group holding an asset that corresponds to a liability owed to it by the old group because the value of the asset taken into account for tax cost setting purposes is not always appropriate.

Submissions opened: 28 April 2015 / Submissions close: 19 May 2015. More...

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

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