In the media

ASIC reaps 'largest ever' penalties amid litigation blitz
ASIC – 16 April 2021 – ASIC has gained civil penalties totalling $159.8 million in six months in a new record it says will send "strong messages of deterrence". A total of 27 individuals were charged in criminal proceedings, launched 14 civil penalty cases and banned 22 individuals from providing financial services or credit. More...

ASIC extends temporary financial advice relief measure in COVID-19 instrument
ASIC – 15 April 2021 – ASIC has announced that it will extend one of three temporary relief measures designed to help the financial advice industry provide consumers with affordable and timely advice during the COVID-19 pandemic. More...

Super funds need real-time data
MEDIA – 13 April 2021 – Holistic and timely data will allow superannuation funds to have individualised engagement with members but, at the moment, more funds only have a small number of data points for members, according to Rice Warner. More...

REST joins anti-slavery coalition
NEWS – 13 April 2021 – The industry super funds joins 32 other institutional investors and super funds in signing up to the Investors Against Slavery and Trafficking APAC coalition. More...

APRA cracks down on super reinsurers
NEWS – 12 April 2021 The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is calling for feedback on a package designed to address concerns regarding the increased use of offshore reinsurers by life insurers. More...

Super performance test gives poor performing funds 'leg up'
MEDIA – 9 April 2021 – The government's superannuation performance test proposed in its Your Future, Your Super legislation does not include administration fees and other non-investment charges which could lead to super funds charging up to four times the median fees, according to Industry Super Australia (ISA). More...

Significant danger in lack of YFYS detail
MEDIA – 08 April 2021 – Key Parliamentary Committee has been warned that there are significant dangers for the superannuation industry in the lack of detail around the Government's Your Future, Your Super legislation. More...

Will Govt's YFYS legislation force a cull of superannuation associations?
NEWS – 08 April 2021 – Superannuation industry associations may be facing significant consolidation as the Government's new legislation forces to superannuation funds to justify spending member funds on membership. More...

ASIC warns time is fast running out for insurance claims handling AFS licence applications
ASIC called on insurance claims handling firms to lodge licence applications (new and varied) as soon as possible, and by no later than 7 May 2021 (08 April 2021). More...

AFCA's inbuilt moral hazard for financial advisers
Financial advisers are being exposed to moral hazard because of the rules around consumer complaints lodged with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), according to the Financial Planning Association (07 April 2021). More...

Trio penalised $9.4 million for tax exploitation scheme
ATO – 08 April 2021 – The ATO is dedicated to identifying and disrupting tax exploitation schemes. In March 2021, a solicitor, financial planner and accountant were penalised more than $9.4 million for promoting an illegal tax avoidance scheme, following an investigation that spanned several years. More...

Govt urged to press ahead with measure to make super assets visible in family court proceedings
AIST – 07 April 2021 – The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees has called on the Government to prioritise their promised family law super scheme in the wake of the welcome announcement that a second controversial measure - to allow family violence victims to access their super - has been abandoned. More...

Govt lambasted over lack of detail on super performance tests
MEDIA – 06 April 2021 – Major superannuation funds are calling for an extensive consultation process before the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority is handed the regulatory power to conduct superannuation performance tests. More...

Members call on QSuper and Sunsuper to exit coal
MEDIA – 06 April 2021 – Over 200 members from the superannuation funds have urged the funds to reconcile their stated commitments to invest responsibly with their investments in high-emitting assets. More...

In practice and courts

Opening statement for Senate Economics Legislation Committee's Inquiry into the Treasury Laws Amendment (Your Future, Your Super) Bill 2021
7 April 2021 – Helen Rowell, Deputy Chair - Senate Economics Legislation Committee, Sydney. More...

ASIC Regulatory Updates
16/04/2021 REP 688 ASIC enforcement update July to December 2020
Provides an update on ASIC's enforcement work undertaken between 1 July and 31 December 2020, a period in which ASIC continued to take action to support its enforcement priorities and pursue a fair, strong and efficient financial system for all Australians: See 21-074MR
14/04/2021 ASIC Corporations (COVID-19–Advice-related Relief) Instrument 2021/268
Extends until 15 October 2021 the relief measure that allows financial advisers to provide a record of advice rather than a statement of advice to existing clients requiring financial advice due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: See 21-072MR and FAQs
13/04/2021 RG 96 Debt collection guideline: For collectors and creditors (reissued)
Legislation references specific to field agents in Queensland updated.
08/04/2021 INFO 253 Claims handling and settling: How to comply with your AFS licence obligations (new)
Assists firms who provide insurance claims handling and settling services to prepare and submit their AFS licence applications as soon as possible after 1 January 2021, and by no later than 7 May 2021: See 21-067MR

ASIC Corporations, Superannuation and Credit (Amendment) Instrument 2020/99
Amends the ASIC Corporations and Credit (Internal Dispute Resolution–Transitional) Instrument 2019/965 to preserve ASIC's existing internal dispute resolution policy in relation to complaints received by financial firms before 5 October 2021.

AFSA: Introducing our new AFSAsandpit website
6 April 2021 – The new AFSAsandpit website has now launched. The new site unveils a fresh, modern design and makes it easier for the public, users of our services and other stakeholders Launched in 2018 it has been extremely valuable in helping to design services that best meet our users' needs – for both PPSR and personal insolvency functions. More...

APRA draft taxonomy artefacts to assist superannuation entities prepare for APRA Connect
APRA has released the response paper and 10 final reporting standards for the first phase of its multi-year Superannuation Data Transformation. The Response Paper and finalised reporting standards are available at: Consultation on APRA's Superannuation Data Transformation.
These new collections will be reported through APRA Connect.
Final versions of these documents will be available before the external test environment is released to entities in June 2021. The draft artefacts include the data dictionary, validations, reporting taxonomy and XSD (to validate files).

AFCA Current Matters
Business interruption insurance test cases (Updated March 2021)


Rushton v Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (No 3) [2021] FCA 358
SUPERANNUATION – financial services – superannuation complaints – Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) given powers to determine superannuation complaints under s 1055 Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – where AFCA required to decide whether superannuation trustee's decision operated unreasonably or unfairly – where applicant married to, but had separated from, member (now deceased) of the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme – where applicant sought to qualify for a reversionary pension under scheme rules – where applicant and deceased had children – where applicant lived in separate premises from, but provided daily care to, deceased and children during final stages of her illness – whether applicant and deceased were living together as husband and wife – where applicant granted carer's pension to enable him to care for deceased – whether applicant wholly or partly dependent on deceased at the time of her death – where trustee determined applicant did not qualify for reversionary pension – where AFCA affirmed the decision of trustee – whether AFCA made jurisdictional or other error in affirming decision of trustee – held: AFCA did not make any error in determining complaint.

Cradock v United Super Pty Ltd as Trustee of the Construction and Building Unions Superannuation Fund [2021] FCA 305
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application for an extension of time to commence an appeal from a decision of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) – AFCA affirming a decision of a superannuation trustee in relation to the distribution of death benefits – s 1055B and s 1057A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) providing that AFCA's decision comes into immediate effect unless AFCA provides otherwise or unless the Federal Court of Australia stays the decision appealed from – no application for a stay of AFCA's decision – decision appealed from implemented by trustee before the time to commence an appeal expired – recipient of benefit of the trustee's decision receiving payment and expending funds – recipient asserting prejudice in the nature of a risk that the law might operate to require that she disgorge the payment – unsatisfactory explanation for delay in commencing appeal – public interest in proper construction of the provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) conferring powers of remittal – consideration of whether there could or should be remittal for reconsideration of a decision that has been implemented – extension of time granted on limited grounds.




ASIC Corporations (COVID-19 - Advice-related Relief) Instrument 2021/268
14/04/2021 - This instrument facilitates the provision of affordable and timely financial product advice to clients and reduces the regulatory disclosure burden on providing entities due to the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing the temporary relief in ASIC Corporations (COVID-19—Advice-related Relief) Instrument 2020/355 that allows a record of advice to be provided to existing clients in relation to COVID-19 advice in certain circumstances.

Superannuation Amendment (PSS Trust Deed) Instrument 2021
06/04/2021 - This instrument amends the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme Trust Deed as a consequence of the Family Law Amendment (Western Australia De Facto Superannuation Splitting and Bankruptcy) Act 2020, and addresses matters relating to delegation by the Finance Minister.

Auditing Standard ASQM 2 Engagement Quality Reviews
06/04/2021 - This instrument deals with the appointment and eligibility of the engagement quality reviewer and the engagement quality reviewer's responsibilities relating to the performance and documentation of an engagement quality review.

Auditing Standard ASQM 1 Quality Management for Firms that Perform Audits or Reviews of Financial Reports and Other Financial Information, or Other Assurance or Related Services Engagements
06/04/2021 - This instrument deals with a firm's responsibilities to design, implement and operate a system of quality management for audits or reviews of financial reports and other financial information, or other assurance or related services engagements.

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