Australia: Superannuation, funds management & financial services news - 18 September 2017

In the media

Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Consumers First - Establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority) Bill 2017
TIMEBASE – 15 September 2017 - Yesterday, 14 September 2017, Senator the Hon James McGrath Introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Consumers First – Establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority) Bill 2017 (the Bill). Currently before the Senate, the Bill's purpose is to overhaul the dispute resolution framework of the financial system by establishing a new, not-for profit dispute resolution body, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority ('AFCA'), thus allowing consumers and small businesses to obtain access to "free, fast and binding dispute resolution. More...

Insurance in super benefits recipients and the budget bottom line
ASFA – 15 September 2017 - A new report released today by the ASFA reveals the benefits of insurance in superannuation. The report author, ASFA Director of Research Ross Clare, said most death, disability and income protection insurance held by Australians was provided through superannuation and without it, many people would have no insurance protection at all. More...

Government tries again on legislation to overhaul superannuation funds MEDIA – 15 September 2017 - Financial Services Minister Kelly O'Dwyer rejects claims that reintroduced legislation to overhaul the governance of superannuation funds is ideological. More...

Financial adviser sentenced for making false statements to ASIC
ASIC – 15 September 2017 - The charges, which follow an ASIC investigation, allege that on or about 3 August 2016, and in support of an application for an Australian financial services licence, Mr Davie made statements that were false or misleading. More...

Latest superannuation reforms will improve consumer outcomes
FSC – 14 September 2017 - The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O'Dwyer, has today introduced to Parliament a suite of reforms designed to make superannuation more transparent and accountable to consumers. The Financial Services Council (FSC) supports the range of measures that will improve our $2.3 trillion retirement savings system. More...

Government caves into banks in plans to dismantle industry super governance
ISA – 14 September 2017 - Superannuation bills introduced by the Coalition Government into Federal Parliament today risk dismantling the not for profit superannuation sector and giving the banks a 'leave pass' on some new transparency and disclosure requirements. More...

Ombudsman slams one-stop-shop announcement
CIO – 14 September 2017 - The Ombudsman and Chief Executive of the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO), Raj Venga, has excoriated the government's move to introduce legislation into the Senate to create a 'one-stop-shop' ombudsman, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), stating it will neither provide better consumer outcomes nor be able to address past, or prevent future, financial scandals. More...

Super new plan for first homebuyers
New laws allowing first homebuyers to use their superannuation accounts to save for a deposit have been announced by Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, Michael Sukkar. The initiative, previously foreshadowed in the Budget, will allow prospective first homebuyers to save for a deposit inside superannuation through the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) (12 September 2017). More...

Government should prioritise member interests and not cave into bank lobbying on super governance
ISA -11 September 2017 - Industry Super Australia has urged the government to prioritise unpaid super, the super gender gap and multiple accounts rather than cave into bank-lobbying to dismantle the industry super governance model. More...

Industry Super welcomes Xenophon Team Bill to tackle unpaid super
ISA – 11 September 2017 - A Bill introduced into federal Parliament today that would align super guarantee (SG) payments to the wage cycle, and abolish the monthly $450 threshold, has been welcomed by Industry Super Australia. More...

Queensland financial adviser banned for failing to act in clients' best interests
ASIC – 08 September 2017 - ASIC found that Mr Toledo failed to act in the best interests of his clients when advising them to establish self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF) to purchase properties. More...

Gig economy workers missing out on super
MEDIA – 07 September 2017 - Low-paid, unskilled workers who rely on the gig economy to make a living are missing out on mandatory employer superannuation, according to Australia's peak super body. More...

Principal of Sherwin Financial Planners pleads guilty to fraud
ASIC – 08 September 2017 - The former Principal of Sherwin Financial Planners Pty Ltd and Chairman of Wickham Securities Ltd has today pleaded guilty to 25 charges brought by ASIC, arising out of the collapse of his financial planning business. More...

Super and retirement incomes at stake in the gig economy?
ASFA - 07 September 2017 - The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) today released a discussion paper on the changing nature of work and the implications of this for Australian workers, including their superannuation. According to ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy, the rise of the gig economy will have potentially profound effects on the nature of work and on the relationships between workers and those who engage them. More...

Industrial awards system leaves superannuation consumers worse off
FSC – 06 September 2017 - The Fair Work Commission's default superannuation fund process has resulted in as much as $94 billion being trapped in subscale funds leaving up to 1.7 million members potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars worse off in retirement. New analysis of APRA and modern awards data by the Financial Services Council (FSC) shows that there are 33 funds listed under modern awards that manage less than $10 billion in funds. More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

ASFA Research Papers September 2017
The experience of individuals with insurance through superannuation, Ross Clare, Director of Research, ASFA Superannuation and the Changing Nature of Work: Discussion paper, Andrew Craston, Senior Research Advisor, ASFA

In practice and courts

ASFA Submissions

Submission to Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)
Re: Consultation on APRA's superannuation operational governance proposals (13 September 2017). More...

AIST Submissions

Strengthening operational governance of RSE licensees to APRA
AIST supports the member outcomes test proposed for all superannuation products provided the role of net returns are not diluted. AIST also submits that the existing regulatory framework provides APRA with sufficient power to address governance weaknesses. More...

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.

Cases

Oze-Igiehon v Uber Technology Inc [2017] FCA 1024
SUPERANNUATION – superannuation guarantee scheme – liability for superannuation guarantee charge – consideration of who has standing to make a claim for proper superannuation guarantee payments. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application to amend addresses of service to overseas addresses – application to join the Commissioner of Taxation and Fair Work Ombudsman as third parties to the proceedings.
Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 (Cth) ss 12, 15B, 16, 17, 19 and 43.

Legislation

Commonwealth

Superannuation Laws Amendment (Strengthening Trustee Arrangements) Bill 2017 14/09/2017 - Schedule 1 to this Bill amends the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) to introduce new trustee arrangements requiring registrable superannuation (RSE) licensees to have at least one-third independent directors and for the Chair of the Board of directors to be one of these independent directors.

Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No. 1) Bill 2017
14/09/2017 – Schedule 1 to this Bill amends the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) to strengthen the obligation on superannuation trustees to consider the appropriateness of their MySuper product offering annually including how that product continues to deliver appropriate outcomes to MySuper members.

Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Consumers First—Establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority) Bill 2017
14/09/2017 - This Bill will amend the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) and other Commonwealth Acts to introduce a new external dispute resolution (EDR) framework and an enhanced internal dispute resolution (IDR) framework for the financial system. The new EDR framework will ensure that consumers have easy access to a single EDR scheme, known as the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), which will resolve disputes about products and services provided by financial firms.

Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No. 2) Bill 2017
14/09/2017 – Schedule 1 of this Bill amends the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 (SGAA) to ensure employees under workplace determinations or enterprise agreements have an opportunity to choose the superannuation fund for their compulsory employer contributions. This measure applies to new workplace determinations and enterprise agreements made on or after 1 July 2018.

Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures No. 1) Bill 2017
08/09/2017 - Schedule 1 to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures No.1) Bill 2017 (the Bill) establishes the First Home Super Saver Scheme. The First Home Super Saver Scheme applies to voluntary contributions that are made into superannuation on or after 1 July 2017. Such contributions can be withdrawn under the Scheme from 1 July 2018.

First Home Super Saver Tax Bill 2017
07/09/2017 - Schedule 1 to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures No.1) Bill 2017 (the Bill) establishes the First Home Super Saver Scheme, which allows individuals who are saving for their first home to take advantage of the concessional taxation arrangements that apply to the superannuation system.

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