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Stay up-to-date with the issues affecting super.
ASIC reports on Insurance in Super Code
AIST consultations on Heatmap – update
Treasury consultation on RC recommendations
Unclaimed and lost super regulations finalised
ASIC consults on draft product design guidance
FPA releases digital SOA guide
APRA releases annual MySuper statistics
APRA announces upcoming changes to D2A and Extranet to replace AUSkey
APRA releases second consultation package on its Superannuation Data Transformation
ASIC updates internal governance frameworks
A new report from ASIC says improvements are being made as a result of the adoption of the Insurance in Super Code by a significant number of trustees however the regulator has cautioned that further work is needed to achieve higher standards.
The report examines the industry’s progress in improving consumer outcomes and finds that adoption of the Code is contributing to a promising uplift in processes, better standardisation of services, easier to understand communication and a decrease in claim handling time.
However, ASIC has highlighted inconsistencies in the implementation of the Code, including a lack of universality and potential harms resulting from poor member engagement. Impacts on vulnerable consumers are also a concern, with ASIC stating that few trustees have policies in place to deal with insurance services and vulnerable members.
ASIC will conduct further work on consumer outcomes concerning insurance in superannuation, including the release of additional reports this financial year.
As a co-owner of the Code, AIST has incorporated ASIC’s feedback into a recent review of the Code, and we will continue to engage on the Code with ASIC, our member funds and other industry stakeholders.
For further information please contact Senior Policy Manager, David Haynes at firstname.lastname@example.org
AIST is continuing its discussions with APRA over aspects of the methodology used in the regulator’s recently released MySuper heatmap.
The heatmap – which was released earlier this month – analyses 94 MySuper products against a range of benchmarks, including fees and performance.
However, a number of concerns have been raised about APRA’s representation of the data it collects, particularly in regard to unlisted assets.
AIST is working with APRA on these issues to ensure future iterations of the heatmap address these issues.
For further information, contact AIST’s head of advocacy, Mel Birks at email@example.com
Treasury has outlined its timeline for industry consultation next year on exposure draft legislation relating to Royal Commission recommendations that are due to be implemented by 30 June.
While some exposure drafts of legislation have already been released in December, the Government intends to consult on most of the relevant exposure draft legislation as part of a single process. Key dates are:
Treasury will circulate invites and agendas for the above in January.
Regulations to remake the operation of the Superannuation (Unclaimed Money and Lost Members) Regulations 1999 (the Regulations) before they sunset have been finalised.
The Regulations include two substantive changes to the previous regulations. The first is prescribing whereby an account will no longer be considered an inactive low balance account if certain conditions of release are met by a member, and the second is that interest will apply to the payment of unclaimed amounts in relation to inactive low balance accounts.
When draft Regulations were released in September AIST advocated for more clarity on how members that have previously made a severe hardship claim should be treated when considering if an account is an inactive low balance account.
AIST welcomes the clarification provided in this area by the removal of a severe financial hardship claim as a condition of release for these purposes.
ASIC is seeking public input into its draft guidance for the new financial product design and distribution
obligations, which come into effect on April 2021.
The obligations require financial product firms to develop products that meet the needs of the consumers
in their intended target market. ASIC’s proposed approach to the guidance is outlined in Consultation Paper 325 Design and Distribution Obligations (CP 325). The draft guidance is principles-based but also incorporates working examples. This approach reflects Parliamentary intent that firms are best placed to apply the regime in the circumstances of their product offerings and distribution processes.
The legislation has provided a two year transition period for industry to meet the new design and
The deadline for submissions is 11 March 2020.
Members wishing to provide feedback to AIST for its submission should contact AIST’s policy and regulatory analyst, Zachary Tung at firstname.lastname@example.org
In a significant step towards the offering of more affordable financial advice, the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) this week released a guide to a digital Statement of Advice.
Releasing the Future of the Statement of Advice (SOA) digital interactive guide , the FPA noted that technology advancements would reduce the cost of advice and open new markets for planners.
The guide includes a series of videos that cover topics relating to digital SOA production and delivery, as well as six sample digital SOAs created by fintech providers.
APRA has released its annual MySuper statistics providing insight into MySuper products held by profit-to-member and retail APRA-reporting funds, as well as data on the growth of MySuper products in 2019.
The Annual MySuper Statistics contain detailed profile and structure, financial performance, fees and membership information for all MySuper products
Highlights across all APRA-reporting funds include:
In terms of growth, the MySuper sector grew by $82 billion to $707 billion, an increase of 13.12%.
APRA has announced changes to its current authentication credential for Direct to Apra (D2A) data ahead of the planned transition away from its data collection service in 2020.
AUSkey, the existing authentication credential for Direct to APRA (D2A) and the APRA Extranet, will be replaced with myGovID, Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) and machine to machine (M2M) credentials.
APRA entities will be required to complete a number of steps in February/March 2020 to continue to use D2A and the APRA Extranet before the transition to the new Data Collection Solution later in 2020.
APRA will provide technical and support information in early 2020 to enable entities to transition.
For entities to be ready for the transition, APRA suggests:
For further information, contact AIST Senior Policy Manager, David Haynes at email@example.com
APRA has released a second consultation package on its Superannuation Data Transformation. This release follows the launch in early November of APRA’s multi-year project to upgrade the breadth, depth and quality of its superannuation data collection.
APRA’s Superannuation Data Transformation aims to enhance the comparability and consistency of reported data. The project will make it easier to scrutinise and reliably compare fund and product performance, especially in the choice segment of the market. Improved transparency will also drive better industry practices and improve member outcomes.
The two topic papers released today form part of Phase 1 of the Superannuation Data Transformation (Breadth), which will address the most urgent gaps in APRA’s data collection, particularly for choice products and investment options:
Submissions on these proposals will close on 14 February 2020.
ASIC has reviewed its internal frameworks that guide its decision making and sets accountabilities following on from the Financial Services Royal Commission.
The framework articulates how ASIC collectively exercises its functions and powers to deliver on its statutory objectives.
While no specific Royal Commission recommendations were made for ASIC to change its governance framework, the review is part of ASIC’s post-RC strategic change program to improve its processes and accountability.
Following the review of its governance and accountability framework, ASIC has made changes including: