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ASIC has released independent research on the experiences of superannuation fund members who directly engaged with their fund about insurance held through superannuation. Report 673 Consumer engagement in insurance in super presents findings from research exploring the experiences of superannuation fund members, who were not using a financial adviser and directly contacted their fund to make enquiries about or make changes to their insurance arrangements.
The report says the ‘most commonly expressed positive emotion was that the process was “easy” or “straightforward”’, but the research highlights some challenges for trustees, such as those associated with providing more tailored information for members. At the same time, there is an opportunity for trustees to significantly improve their members’ experience by improving communication to members about insurance, including on their websites. ASIC found that many of the problems members experienced may have been reduced or avoided if the information they sought was easy to find, clear and balanced.
On Wednesday, 25 November, ASIC held a virtual roundtable on Regulatory Guide 271 Internal dispute resolution (RG 271). During the presentation ASIC noted how the changes in IDR will have the potential to impact many services within superfunds. ASIC reinforced the need for trustee board level accountability when it comes to internal dispute resolution. ASIC also reminded participants of the importance of treating IDR as a core part of fund operations. While the guide does not come into effect until 5 October 2021, ASIC reminded participants that there will be significant work required to ensure compliance with the regulatory guide. ASIC has advised that they will circulate the presentation to participants – AIST will provide these to members once ASIC make them available.
APRA today released its Quarterly Life Insurance Performance Statistics publication for the September 2020 quarter, with industry aggregate summaries of financial performance, financial position, capital adequacy and key ratios. It says the life insurance industry's performance continues to be challenged. Net loss after tax was $1.6 billion for the year to September 2020, a significant reduction from a $220 million profit in the previous year. This deterioration was caused by poor results in both the December and March quarters.
The Federal Government has released the instrument setting out the technical and administrative details for the Payment Times Reporting Act 2020.
The Payment Times Reporting Bill requires biannual reporting from big businesses on the time it takes them to pay their small business suppliers. The obligation commences 1 January 2021.Large businesses, including super funds, and their related entities with a total annual income of over $100 million are required to publicly report on their payment times and practices for their small business suppliers.