Australia: Superannuation, Funds Management & Financial Services News - 8 August 2017

Last Updated: 11 August 2017
Article by Chris Lovell, Paul Faure and Bill Glover

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media

Lawyer warns super funds on climate risks
MEDIA – 04 August 2017 - A majority of super funds have not provided adequate evidence they are considering climate risk as required by APRA, making them vulnerable to legal action, says a new report. More...

Could Commonwealth Bank be fined a trillion dollars for systemic law breaching?<
MEDIA – 03 August 2017 - Failure to comply with anti-money laundering and terror financing legislation could leave the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) facing enormous fines. AUSTRAC has launched civil proceedings, claiming that CBA breached laws relating to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) on no fewer than 53,700 occasions. More...

AUSTRAC seeks civil penalty orders against CBA
AUSTRAC – 03 August 2017 - Australia's financial intelligence and regulatory agency, AUSTRAC, today initiated civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) for serious and systemic non-compliance with the AML/CTF Act. More...

Sydney at the centre of booming Australian Fintech industry
KPMG – 01 August 2017 - Sydney is home to over half of Australia's Fintech companies and is helping to drive unprecedented growth in the industry, according to a new report by the Committee for Sydney and KPMG. More...

Who's missing out on super? Wage threshold creates an underclass of biggest losers.
ASFA – 30 July 2017 - Men and women working in sales, community and personal service roles and earning less than $450 per month are the biggest losers when it comes to missing out on the compulsory super contributions paid to most workers. An estimated 220,000 Australian women and 145,000 Australian men are missing out on around $125 million of superannuation contributions each year due to an antiquated wage threshold. More...

Group insurance data framework proposed
MEDIA – 28 July 2017 - The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group, a joint initiative of competing super industry associations, has released its fourth discussion paper – this time on the topic of data management. Submissions on the ISWG discussion paper on data management are due by 18 August 2017. More... (ASFA) More...

Overhauling the dispute resolution framework
TREASURY – 26 July 2017 - The Turnbull Government is continuing to deliver on its commitment to overhaul the dispute resolution framework for financial services in Australia with the creation of a transition team to lead the establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). More...

'Change or exit', APRA warns super funds
MEDIA – 26 July 2017 - Super funds that fail to produce "concrete evidence" they are delivering for members could soon be compelled to merge, says APRA deputy chair Helen Rowell. More...

SMSF trustee penalties increase
MEDIA – 25 July 2017 - The ATO has many weapons in its arsenal when it comes to regulating Self Managed Super Funds. One of the most frequently used has increased in cost from 1 July 2017 for defaulting trustees of SMSFs by almost 17 per cent. More...

'Weak planning' of super funds exposed
MEDIA – 25 July 2017 - APRA has outlined the "poor business planning practices" of various super funds, coinciding with the government's announcement this week that it plans to replace the 'scale test' with an 'outcomes test'. The Coalition is planning to replace the current scale test with an 'outcomes' test as part of a package of superannuation governance reforms announced on Monday. More...

Superannuation changes won't empower consumers
MEDIA – 26 July 2017 - The government's raft of changes to the regulation of superannuation is being sold as a way to give consumers more power over their retirement funds. But, in fact, consumers are unlikely to use these new powers and the changes might not improve super fund performance. More...

Reforms to give consumers more power at the heart of a stronger superannuation system
TREASURY – 24 July 2017 - The Turnbull Government will introduce legislation to give everyday Australians more power over their superannuation providers and strengthen the prudential framework to deliver a more transparent and accountable compulsory retirement savings system. More...
The Exposure Draft Bill and Explanatory Memorandum are available on the Treasury website. Submissions will close on Friday, 11 August 2017.

FSC boss pushes for self-regulation
MEDIA – 28 July 2017 - A royal commission into financial services would be lengthy, "go off in tangents" and would act as a "handbrake" on industry self-regulation, argues the FSC. More...

Financial Choice pays $21,600 in penalties for false and misleading representations
ASIC – 25 July 2017 - Financial Choice Pty Ltd, an Australian financial services provider, has paid two ASIC infringement notice penalties totalling $21,600, after making misleading representations in marketing emails sent to consumers and on its website. More...

Superannuation reform package requires careful analysis
AIST – 25 July 2017 - The Government's package of superannuation reforms announced today requires careful analysis to ensure there are no unintended consequences for members. More...

New consumer protections in super welcome but should go further
ISA – 24 July 2017 - Enhanced superannuation trustee obligations and regulatory powers announced today should benefit consumers but there is scope to go further, says Industry Super Australia. More...

FSC: Super reform package brings new age of transparency and accountability
FSC – 24 July 2017 - The FSC welcomed the Government announcing its intention to reform the 25 year old superannuation system to make it more transparent, competitive and accountable to consumers. More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Data management - discussion paper
Insurance in Superannuation Working Group, Industry Super Australia: 28 July 2017
The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group (ISWG) has released the fourth in a series of discussion papers as a further step towards developing an Insurance Code of Practice for superannuation trustees. More...

In practice and courts

APRA RSE licensees on Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation) Bill 2017
APRA has released a letter to all RSE licensees on Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation) Bill 2017 (26 July 2017). More...

ASIC Corporations (Urgent Superannuation Advice) Instrument 17-530
The relief gives financial advisers up to 30 days to provide a SoA for personal advice provided to retail clients about a superannuation product in connection with the changes in laws regulating superannuation as a result of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Act 2016 where the advice is requested and provided before 1 July 2017 (26 July 2017). More...

ASFA Call for submissions on data management to improve insurance outcomes for superannuation members
The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group (ISWG) has released the fourth in a series of discussion papers as a further step towards developing an Insurance Code of Practice for superannuation trustees. The paper, Data Management, outlines proposals that seek to enhance member insurance outcomes by improving access to timely and relevant information. Submissions in respect of the data management proposals outlined in the discussion paper close on 18 August 2017. More...

ASFA Submissions
25 July 2017 Submission to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
Re: Single Touch Payroll Consultation Paper – Online choice of fund (part of the employee commencement process). More...
24 July 2017 Submission to The Treasury - Re: Consultation on ASIC Enforcement Review – Position and Consultation Paper 4 Industry Codes in the Financial Sector. More...

AIST Submissions
28 July 2017 Industry codes in the financial sector
27 July 2017 Relief application: Disclosure of fees and cost...
26 July 2017 Online choice of fund design consultation

Reminder: Transition period for updated fee and cost disclosures
ASIC has extended the transition period for trustees of superannuation funds and responsible entities of managed funds and other managed investment schemes (issuers) to comply with updated fee and cost disclosure requirements in relation to product disclosure statements (PDSs), until 30 September 2017.

ASFA National Financial Crime Discussion Group
Discuss various trends and issues faced by super in the area of financial crime. Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth Australia, next meeting 17 August 2017. More...

Gazette - Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993
Notices of disqualification under the Act:

Notice of Disqualification - Jekk Grace; Andrea Grant; Michael Craig.

Notice of Disqualification - Pina Sotiropoulos; Peter Sotiropoulos

Notice of Disqualification – Keith Brennan.

Notice of Disqualification - Mi Kim; Chan Jeon; Dion Jensen; Julie Puttock.

Notice of Disqualification - Lloyd Swan; Joanne Swan.

Notice of Disqualification - Anthony Kraal; Leon Stephan.

Legislation - Commonwealth

Treasury Legislation Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation) Bill 2017
26 July 2017 | Exposure Draft - The legislation will amend the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, the Corporations Act 2001, and the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001 to modernise the superannuation system. The amendments will improve accountability and member outcomes. The Turnbull Government released for consultation the draft legislation and associated draft explanatory material to close a loophole used by unscrupulous employers to reduce their employee's superannuation guarantee when the employee chooses to make salary sacrifice contributions to superannuation. All interested parties are invited to make a submission by 11 August 2017.

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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