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Four profit-to-member super funds will appear at the next round of the Parliamentary hearings into superannuation tomorrow – Friday 20 November.
In what is likely to be the final 2020 hearing of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics – Review of the four major banks and other financial institutions, the 20 November program includes the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), HESTA, REST, One Path, REI Super and TWU super.
Meanwhile, the 59 page transcript of the recent Nov 6 hearings has been released, with the following page numbers provided to hone in on the responses of each witness. AustralianSuper (pg 1), BT (pg 13), IFM Investors (pg 23), Suncorp Group (pg 36) and Mercer (Australia) Pty Ltd (pg 45).
ASIC has today issued Consultation Paper 332 Promoting access to affordable advice for consumers (CP 332).
CP 332 seeks input from industry participants and relevant stakeholders to help ASIC understand:
ASIC Commissioner Danielle Press said, ‘Good-quality affordable personal advice may help consumers make better financial decisions, especially during times of heightened vulnerability. We welcome feedback from the financial advice industry and others with an interest in making advice more accessible to consumers.”
Submissions are due by 18 January 2021.
At a webinar on Monday, APRA provided an overview of the SRI model in relation to the superannuation industry and answered super fund questions about the transition to the new model.
This follows the recent release of their SRI Guide and an associated letter to trustees.
Last year’s Capability Review of APRA recommended APRA embed and reinforce its increasing focus on member outcomes, and continue to ensure that trustees prudently manage member funds by taking a number of steps. These include the development of a superannuation performance tool to replace APRA’s Probability and Impact Rating System (PAIRS) and the Supervisory Oversight and Response System (SOARS).
In response, APRA has introduced a new model to assess risk and determine supervisory intensity, called the Supervision Risk and Intensity (SRI) model. Its design features elevates non-financial risks whilst preserving the importance of financial resilience. For example, the model includes specific consideration of Governance, Culture, Remuneration and Accountability.
At the webinar, APRA confirmed their focus on RSE trustees but noted there would also be consideration of conglomerate and product level issues. The SRI model will operate in tandem with data collection, member outcomes, heatmap and performance assessment. In response to a question, APRA did not however identify the number of funds requiring additional supervision.
AIST understands that the release of an exposure draft of the legislation that covers the superannuation measures proposed in the 2020 Federal Budget is imminent. We understand there will be a short consultation period for industry. It is also understood that the specific benchmarks to be used in the assessment of fund performance will be detailed in regulations, which may not be released at the same time as the Exposure Draft of the legislation. AIST will provide an update and analysis once the Exposure draft is released.
APRA has released its weekly update on the early release of superannuation scheme.
Over the week to 8 November, 25,000 applications were received by funds of which 16,000 were initial applications and 8,000 were repeat applications. Initial applications total 3.3 million and repeat applications total 1.4 million since the inception of the scheme.
Over the week to 8 November, superannuation funds made payments to 22,000 members, bringing the total number to 4.6 million since inception. The total value of payments during the week was $160 million, with $35.0 billion paid since inception. The average payment made over the period since inception is $7,655 overall and $8,326 when considering repeat applications only.
As at 8 November 2020, 98% of applications received since inception had been paid.
ISPT has achieved carbon neutral certification, and in an industry first, has procured 100% Australian Carbon Credit Offset Units (ACCUs) with a focus on programs connected to Indigenous communities. The certification is for the base building operations of ISPT’s owned and operated properties and their corporate offices.
The Chair of ISPT Rosemary Hartnett announced ISPT’s carbon neutral certification on Tuesday.
“ISPT doesn’t just invest in property – we seek to build better and more sustainable futures for our investors, customers and communities. Achieving carbon neutral status is testament to this commitment and 15 years of hard work and perseverance by ISPT’s team and board,” she said.
“We have chosen to take positive action today and to continue to build on this into the future. ISPT is committed to becoming a net positive producer of carbon offsets by 2025, to protect our planet and grow the savings of half of all Australians through both responsible investment and action.”
The current status of superannuation Bills currently before Parliament can be found here.