Australia: Superannuation, Funds Management and Financial Services - What's News - 30 June 2015

In the media

FOS reminder: Our process is changing
FOS – 30 June 2015 – From 1 July 2015, our process for handling disputes will change.  The new process will help FOS deliver fast, efficient, fair dispute resolution.  More...

APRA readies super funds for governance changes
MEDIA – 29 June 2015 – The prudential regulator has written to superannuation trustees advising them of the transition timetable for the new super board independence rules.  More...   More...

Robust governance positive for super: ASFA
ASFA – 26 June 2015 – The ASFA says the government's release of draft legislation, which will require boards of superannuation funds to be comprised of at least one-third independent directors and for the chair of the board to be independent, reflects changing community expectations as a result of the increasing size and complexity of funds. More...

Improving superannuation governance
TREASURY – 26 June 2015 – The exposure draft legislation released today proposes that all APRA regulated superannuation funds, including corporate, industry, public sector, and retail funds, have a minimum of one third independent directors on their trustee board and an independent chair.  The new governance rules will not apply to self-managed superannuation funds.  More...

Life insurance industry reform proposals
ASIC – 25 June 2015 – ASIC notes the announcement of a life insurance industry reform package by the FSC, the Association of Financial Advisers and the FPA, following a sector-commissioned review chaired by John Trowbridge.  The life insurance reforms presented to Government follow ASIC's review of life insurance advice (refer: 14-263MR).  More...

Some progress but insurance gap remains
MEDIA – 25 June 2015 – Despite some progress having been made in the past decade, Australia continues to be confronted by a significant under-insurance problem, according to actuarial consultancy, Rice Warner.  More...

Finalising the Future of Financial Advice laws
TREASURY – 25 June 2015 – The Government has agreed to progress minor and technical refinements to the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) laws contained in the Corporations Act 2001.  The agreed refinements will improve the operation of FOFA, and alleviate a number of unintended consequences, most of which have arisen since the laws were legislated.  The agreed refinements will be progressed through a new regulation, before 1 July 2015.  More...

Australia to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
TREASURY – 24 June 2015 – The Government today announces that Australia will become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).  There is an estimated infrastructure financing gap of around US$8 trillion in the Asian region over the current decade.  The AIIB will be part of the solution to closing this gap.  More...

ASIC finalises collective action guidance
MEDIA – 24 June 2015 – The corporate regulator has updated its guidance on collective action by investors following a consultation with the industry earlier this year.  More...

APRA chides insurers on disclosure
MEDIA – 24 June 2015 – The prudential regulator has urged general and life insurers to do a better job when it comes to disclosing prudential matters.  More...

AASB issues proposed amendments for DB plans that have a refund available, have been amended, curtailed or settled
GOVERNMENT – 24 June 2015 – Are you accounting for a defined benefit plan that has a refund available, has been amended, curtailed or settled?  The AASB has issued Exposure Draft ED 266 'Remeasurement on a Plan Amendment, Curtailment or Settlement/Availability of a Refund from a Defined Benefit Plan'.  More...

Review super tax as part of big picture
MEDIA – 23 June 2015 – The tax white paper needed to consider revising superannuation tax concessions within the broader context of retirement incomes and as part of the larger tax landscape impacting on the economy and the budget, the chairman of the National Commission of Audit said.  More...

Complex tax system creates barriers: FPA
MEDIA – 19 June 2015 – Australia's intricate and at times convoluted tax system was a driver of financial product complexity and complex financial strategies, and was one of the major catalysts for Australians to seek advice.  More...

Key tax measures pass the Parliament
TREASURY – 19 June 2015 – The Government has furthered its commitment to increasing Australia's economic competitiveness while restoring the budget with the passage of the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No.1) Bill 2015 through the Parliament.  More...

Tax white paper consultation extended
MEDIA – 18 June 2015 – The submission period for the tax white paper consultation process had been extended by six weeks to 24 July 2015, Treasurer Joe Hockey announced yesterday.  More...

Investment Manager Regime passes through Parliament
MEDIA – 18 June 2015 – The Investment Manager Regime (IMR) legislation, aimed at removing tax uncertainty for foreign investors when using Australia-based fund managers, was passed through Parliament on 17 June 2015.  More...

Superannuation on bumpy year-end ride
SUPERRATINGS – 17 June 2015 – Rising investment markets have helped produce a strong return for super fund members with the median Balanced Option providing a 1.0% gain during the month of May.  The good result is welcome news following last month's 0.3% fall, however, it comes ahead of a forecast decline in June.  More...

Put pension changes on hold until retirement system fully reviewed
INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA – 17 June 2015 – ISA says far-reaching changes to the age pension should not be rushed through the Senate without regard to a careful rebalancing of the whole retirement income system, particularly taking into account super tax breaks that flow disproportionately to high earners.  More...

Retirement incomes review a start toward improvements needed in retirement incomes system
COUNCIL ON THE AGEING MEDIA – 17 June 2015 – Leading seniors advocate and age consumer peak, COTA Australia, today welcomed the announcement that the federal Tax White Paper process will be broadened to include a more intensive review of retirement incomes involving extensive consultation with key stakeholders, including seniors' representatives.  More...

Macquarie to refund $5.5 million to clients
ASIC – 17 June 2015 – Macquarie Investment Management will refund more than $5.5 million to around 2,300 clients following an investigation prompted by ASIC.  More...  More...

BT fined for misleading super statements
ASIC – 17 June 2015 – BT Group has paid $20,400 in penalties after ASIC found the firm made misleading claims about its super performance in its Google.  The misleading statements were contained in two separate online advertising campaigns.  More...  More...

ASIC: consultation on remaking ASIC class orders on financial reporting
ASIC – 16 June 2015 – ASIC has released a consultation paper proposing to remake five class orders that are due to expire ('sunset') in 2015 and 2016.  The class orders affect the disclosures made in financial reports and the manner in which financial reports are presented to security holders.  Submissions on CP 233 are due on 17 August 2015.  More...

Cases

Stock (as Executor of the Will of Mandie, deceased) v N.M. Superannuation Proprietary Limited [2015] FCA 612
SUPERANNUATION – Review of a decision of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal – Whether Tribunal's decision to affirm the trustee's determination to pay certain benefits to the deceased's children was in its operation in relation to the complainants fair and reasonable in the circumstances – Whether Tribunal failed to give adequate reasons for its decision.  More...

Bajaj v Beachtown Investments Pty Ltd [2015] HCASL 107 (18 June 2015)
EMPLOYMENT – SUPERANNUATION – The applicant commenced proceedings in the Magistrates Court of Western Australia claiming underpaid wages and unpaid employer superannuation contributions.  The Magistrates Court found that the respondent had underpaid the applicant's salary and various superannuation contributions.  However, her Honour also set-off amounts to allow for the facts that the applicant had failed to give the termination notice required by the employment contract, and that the respondent had overpaid superannuation contributions to the applicant in certain respects.  The applicant now seeks special leave to appeal to this Court.  More...

Goldie Marketing Pty Ltd v Financial Ombudsman Service [2015] VSC 292
DISPUTE RESOLUTION – CONSTRUCTION OF CONTRACT – Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) – Dispute resolution scheme – Dispute lodged – Discretion to exclude disputes – Review of Financial Ombudsman Service decision – Whether decision reviewable – Final decision – Contract – Terms of Reference – Operational Guidelines.  More...

Legislation

Commonwealth

Acts

Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Amendment Act No. 71 of 2015
An Act to amend the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992, and for related purposes. Registered 26 June 2015 / Date of Assent 25 June 2015. More...

Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 1) Act No. 70 of 2015
An Act to amend the law relating to first home saver accounts, taxation, superannuation and charities, and to amend the Product Stewardship (Oil) Act 2000, and for related purposes. Registered 26 June 2015 / Date of Assent 25 June 2015. More...

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