Australia: Superannuation, Funds Management and Financial Services - What's News - 20 May 2015

In the media

High Court clarifies proportionate liability regime
MEDIA – 15 May 2015 – The High Court of Australia has allowed an appeal against a May 2014 decision of the Federal Court that apportioned liability for losses suffered by Ronald and Janna Selig following advice given by a WealthSure adviser. More...

Industry on cusp of free-trade windfall
MEDIA – 14 May 2015 – The industry was underprepared for the opportunities set to arise from Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with Japan, China and South Korea, according to Finsia. The association pointed to recent research that showed Asian markets were projected to grow at between 2.5% and 7% over the coming decades. More...

Tax review is timely to ensure entire retirement system is fair and sustainable
AIST – 14 May 2015 – The Government's tax review is a timely opportunity to examine the targeting of superannuation tax concessions to ensure Australia's retirement income system is sustainable for the long-term, AIST said today. More...

Ships and superannuation
JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON TREATIES – 13 May 2015 – Pensions and superannuation and pollution from ships are the focus of a report released by the Treaties Committee. This agreement ensures that the responsibility for providing benefits is shared and that people moving between Australia and India to live or work will find it easier to claim benefits including the aged pension and superannuation. More...

ISA and AIST want changes to professionalism model
MEDIA – 13 May 2015 – Both Industry Super Australia (ISA) and the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) have recommended modifications to a proposed model on lifting educational, professional and ethical standards in the financial services industry. More...

Super sector supports age pension changes
MEDIA – 12 May 2015 – Proposed changes to tighten the eligibility rules around access to the age pension have been largely supported by the superannuation industry, with the measures expected to provide greater clarity and improve fairness. More...

No new taxes on super welcomed
MEDIA – 12 May 2015 – Superannuation representative groups have backed the Federal Government's decision to leave new taxes on super out of the 2015 budget but say there is further consultation ahead. More...

More super levies announced
MEDIA – 12 May 2015 – The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) would raise $46.9 million in additional superannuation supervisory levies over a 4 year period starting from the 2016 financial year, the Federal Government announced in tonight's budget. More...

Small planning practices get tax benefit
MEDIA – 12 May 2015 – In a move which will benefit some small financial planning practices, the Government has announced that from 1 July, small companies with an annual turnover of less than $2 million will have their tax rate lowered from 30% to 28%. More...

Government confirms reversal of unclaimed funds regime
MEDIA – 12 May 2015 – The regime covering unclaimed bank and life insurance monies will revert to the pre-2012 trigger of 7 years. More...

Super funds lament higher levies
MEDIA - 12 May 2015 – The Government has used the Budget to announce that it will be raising additional revenue of $46.9 million over 4 years from 2015-16 by increasing the supervisory levies paid by financial institutions. More...

ASFA pushes for sole adviser industry body
MEDIA – 12 May 2015 – The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has advocated for a single professional body for financial advisers to create consistency in industry standards and keep a lid on costs. More...

ASFA's response to the 2015-16 Federal Budget
ASFA – 12 May 2015 – The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) says the community will be happy to see that the Government has kept its promise to not make any unexpected, detrimental changes to superannuation in this Parliamentary term. More...

ASIC cancels brokers' licences
MEDIA – 11 May 2015 – ASIC has cancelled the licences of two insurance brokers for failing to lodge audited annual statements. Action against Queensland based Ken Hart Insurance Brokers and Adelaide based Marshall Laurence follows a proactive review of 14 Australian financial services licensees. More...

Financial Services Council spurns compromise on majority independent directors
MEDIA – 11 May 2015 – The FSC is ramping up lobbying to have all superannuation funds forced to appoint a majority of independent directors, in a new report, titled "Raising governance standards in the superannuation industry" and released on Monday. More...

Australian Parliamentary Service Budget Guides
GOVERNMENT – 11 May 2015 – The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to inform the Parliament, and therefore the broader public about the expected performance of the international and Australian economy, the Government's economic and fiscal strategy and specific policy decisions the Government has made. More... More...

Appointment of Dr June Smith as Lead Ombudsman
FOS – 8 May 2015 – FOS is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr June Smith as Lead Ombudsman (Investments and Advice) from 1 July 2015. This area of FOS's jurisdiction deals with disputes involving investments, financial advice, life insurance and superannuation. More...

Australians should be compensated for poor financial advice: Consumer groups
MEDIA – 8 May 2015 – Australia's leading consumer groups have made a joint submission to the Senate Economics Committee's Scrutiny of Financial Advice Inquiry calling for a last resort compensation scheme for consumers with otherwise uncompensated losses as a result of poor financial advice and other financial misconduct. More...

Cost of living stabilises, but policy changes may mean people need to save more super
ASFA – 8 May 2015 – There was a pause in the cost of living in the March quarter for retirees, with a substantial fall in petrol prices offsetting an increase in the cost of pharmaceuticals and health and medical services, according to the ASFA Retirement Standard released by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) today. More...

Banks support lifting education, ethical and professional standards for financial advisers
ABA – 7 May 2015 – The banking industry has put its support behind the Federal Government's drive to professionalise the financial advice industry. More...

Terminally ill patients to get super access
MEDIA – 7 May 2015 – Australians who have been told they have less than 24 months to live will be able to access their superannuation, under a Government regulatory amendment. The Government amendment would take effect from 1 July 2015. More... More...

ASIC drawing up guidance on client remediation
MEDIA – 7 May 2015 – Financial services licensees that provide financial advice will soon have concrete guidance on client review and remediation. More...

Ethics must come first: CFA Institute
MEDIA – 7 May 2015 – The mandated nature of the Australian superannuation system creates a "different playing field" when it comes to ethics, argues the CFA Institute. More...

Governance of Australian Government Superannuation Schemes Legislation Amendment Bill 2015
GOVERNMENT – 7 May 2015 – Report on Governance of Australian Government Superannuation Schemes Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 [Provisions]. More...

Financial adviser standards consultation: Lifting the professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industry
GOVERNMENT – 7 May 2015 – 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 closed on 7 May 2015. More...

ASFA Submissions
ASFA – 7 May 2015 – Lifting the professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industry. More...

FOS supports ASIC move to provide guidance on remediation programs
FOS – 6 May 2015 – FOS Chief Ombudsman, Mr Tregillis, today welcomed ASIC's announcement that it would develop guidance on general customer review and remediation programs in the financial advice industry. More...

Taskforce should focus on super frauds
MEDIA – 6 May 2015 – A peak superannuation industry body is urging the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce to have an investigative body that will crack down on those committing superannuation frauds. More...

Serious Financial Crime Taskforce welcomed
AIST – 5 May 2015 – AIST has welcomed Treasurer Joe Hockey's announcement of the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce that will address superannuation and investment fraud, identity crime and tax evasion. More...

Super Tax Concessions distribution gets more top-heavy as costs explode
THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE – 4 May 2015 – The latest modelling of Superannuation Tax Concession distribution shows the inequality is growing as the cost to the budget surges. $12.2 billion, 41% of all concessions, are going to the top 10% of households. Previously Treasury has released figures showing the top 10% super contributors got about one third of the concession (36.1% for 2009-10). More...

FPA Life Insurance Blueprint released
FPA – 4 May 2015 – The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) has today released a Life Insurance Blueprint paper and a consultation survey to its members regarding the Life Insurance sector. More...

ASIC defends itself against Storm allegations
MEDIA – 4 May 2015 – ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer discussed its actions against the financial advice industry and banks giving poor quality financial advice. More...

A super waste of money: redesigning super tax concessions
THE AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE – 4 May 2015 – This paper argues that reform of super tax concessions is long overdue and should start from the principle that the only justification for using taxpayer's money is if it reduces long term impacts on the budget. More...

ASIC: 15-092MR Update on Stronger Super regime
ASIC – 1 May 2015 – Current interim relief so that licensees do not have to provide a hard copy of the product dashboard with the periodic statement has been extended to 1 July 2016. The start date for certain disclosures required pursuant to subsection 29QB(1) of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act for standard employer-sponsored sub-plans has also been deferred until 1 July 2016. Note: As an additional matter, ASIC has also extended the interim relief in relation to long-term performance reporting in Class Order 10/630 to 31 December 2015. More...


Selig v Wealthsure Pty Ltd [2015] HCA 18
Order 2 of the Orders of Lander J made on 18 April 2013 be varied by substituting "$1,716,680" in place of "$1,760,512". Corporations – First and second respondents provided financial advice to appellants – First and second respondents found to have contravened various provisions of Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) ("Act") and Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) – Whether liability should be limited to proportion of appellants' loss, having regard to comparative responsibility of other parties – Whether application of Div 2A of Pt 7.10 of Act limited to claims based on contravention of s 1041H of Act or also applies to other causes of action. Procedure – Costs – Costs order against non-party – Where professional indemnity insurer had conduct of respondents' defence at trial and made decision to appeal – Where insurer acting in own interests by bringing appeal – Where respondents' cover under insurance policy was capped – Whether circumstances justified costs order against insurer who was a non-party to proceedings. The appellants, invested in Neovest Limited ("Neovest") on the advice of David Bertram, who was an authorised representative of the first respondent, Wealthsure Pty Ltd. Wealthsure was the holder of an Australian Financial Services Licence. More...



Defence Force (Superannuation) (Productivity Benefit) Amendment (Interest Factor and Other Measures) Determination 2015
Tabled Senate 14 May 2015 – This determination amends the Defence Force (Superannuation) (Productivity Benefit) Determination 1988 to automate the calculation of the superannuation guarantee top-up and factors by reference to the charge percentage in the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 and to the 10 yearly bond rate published by the Reserve Bank of Australia, respectively. More...

Bills consultation

Reminder: [Draft] Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 3) Bill 2015: scrip for scrip roll-over
The intention is to make it harder for companies and trusts to avoid capital gains tax when they sell subsidiary companies other than as part of a genuine merger or restructure of their business. Submissions close on 20 May 2015. More...

Reminder: [Draft] Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 4) Bill 2015: Consolidation
The exposure draft legislation covers 5 measures that were announced in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 Budgets. Submissions close on 19 May 2015. More...

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