Australia: Inside track: Superannuation, Funds Management & Financial Services: media releases, in practice and in courts, cases and legislation

Last Updated: 12 December 2018
Article by Chris Lovell, Paul Faure, Bill Glover and Kylie Wilson

Most Read Contributor in Australia, December 2018

In the media

APRA powerless against contraventions of superannuation law
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has been powerless in enforcing honest behaviour by superannuation funds because it does not have the legislative muscle to enforce it, the financial services Royal Commission has heard ( 30 November 2018). More...

Removal of volume-based adviser fees will test super funds
Intrafund advice will likely fall short of what people need to plan for their retirement and this situation may be made more problematic if a future government outlaws volume-based fees, according to actuarial research house, Rice Warner. The Government would require trustees to provide guidance (which may or may not be financial advice) (22 November 2018). More...

Consultation on draft proposals for reform of the early release of superannuation rules
The Government has publicly released a consultation paper on changes to the rules governing the early release of superannuation benefits on compassionate grounds and financial hardship grounds. The draft proposals are informed by the findings from the first round of consultation on changes to the early release of superannuation rules (21 November 2018). More...

Improving visibility of superannuation assets in family law proceedings
Women will get a better deal in accessing superannuation assets at the end of a relationship as a consequence of a new information-sharing initiative announced as part of the Coalition Government's Women's Economic Security Package. The electronic information-sharing system will commence on 1 July 2020 (21 November 2018). More...

In practice and courts

Productivity Commission: Economies of scale
New modelling by the Productivity Commission has found evidence of economies of scale in the super system, pointing to annual savings of at least $1.8 billion if mergers were to go ahead between the 50 highest cost funds and the 10 lowest cost funds. A supplementary paper, Economies of Scale, released as part of the Commission's ongoing review of the efficiency of super, concluded that larger scale was strongly associated with lower (average) expenses across the super system notably in administration (29 November 2018).

AIST: ATO update on 2019 deadlines
The ATO has confirmed the following key super deadlines for 2019. The deadlines are: SuperStream to be used for SMSF rollovers from 30 November 2019; Event-based reporting (MATS/MAAS) to be completed by April 2019; Last annual Member Contribution Statement on 31 October 2019; The ATO has also confirmed that new reporting arrangements will allow members to see up-to-date account information for all their funds on myGov, as well as information about the SG paid by their employer (November 2018).

AIST Policy News - 29 November 2018
Royal Commission update; Productivity Commission finds economies of scale; Uncertainty on super measures before Parliament; Profit-to-member sector grows to $1.3 trillion on fund inflows; ATO calls on funds to act on unpaid super; Consultation on the early release of super; New financial literacy body. More...

APRA superannuation statistics September 2018
APRA releases superannuation statistics for September 2018 on 27 November 2018. More...

Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry: interim report
Note: This report covers policy related issues arising from the first four rounds of hearings. Additional topics, including superannuation and insurance, will be covered in the final report due by 1 February 2019.

ASIC Consultation Reminder: Organisational competence requirements for advice licensees: Update to RG 105 (CP 305)
The proposals in Consultation Paper 305 are based on the existing draft guidance published by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA). Submissions for CP 305 are due by 6 December 2018, with an updated RG 105 setting out the new organisational competence requirements for advice licensees expected to be released in early 2019. More...


Macras v Nulis Nominees (Australia) Limited [2018] FCA 1867
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW –appeal from a decision of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal – scope of jurisdiction under s 46(1) of the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993 (Cth) – where trustee held insurance policy on behalf of applicant – where policy had exclusion for non-disclosed pre-existing conditions – where insurer sought access to further medical information before determining applicant's entitlement under the policy – where trustee decided not to make payment to applicant until insurer determined applicant's entitlement – where Tribunal found decisions were "fair and reasonable in the circumstances" – where insurer had the right under the policy to ask for further information – where open to Tribunal to find there was evidence to support insurer's position that it needed further information – scope of matters relevant to Tribunal's assessment of fairness and reasonableness – no error of law disclosed in Tribunal's reasons. Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993 (Cth).



Treasury Laws Amendment (Strengthening Corporate and Financial Sector Penalties) Bill 2018
House of Representatives Third reading agreed to 29/11/2018 - Implements certain recommendations of the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce by amending the Corporations Act 2001, Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001, National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 and Insurance Contracts Act 1984 to: introduce a stronger penalty framework for corporate and financial sector misconduct; and make miscellaneous technical and consequential amendments.


Accounting Standard AASB 2018-5 Amendments to Australian Accounting Standards – Deferral of AASB 1059
27/11/2018 - This standard amends the mandatory effective date of Accounting Standard AASB 1059 Service Concession Arrangements: Grantors so that AASB 1059 is required to be applied for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2020 instead of 1 January 2019.

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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