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AustralianSuper and IFM to appear at tomorrow’s Parliamentary hearing
AustralianSuper and IFM investors will appear before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics tomorrow as the inquiry into the four major banks and other financial institutions conducts its 18th hearing.
Tomorrow’s video conference hearing is the Committee’s sixth hearing into superannuation (compared to four for the banks) and marks the second appearance for both AustralianSuper and IFM. Mercer, BT and Suncorp are also due to appear.
To date, Committee has held 17 public hearings, with five hearings focusing on the superannuation, four on banking, three on insurance and one on financial advice. The Committee has heard from 11 profit-to-member funds and their affiliates compared to only 3 funds from the retail sector. Some retail funds for which the Royal Commission made adverse findings are yet to appear.
AIST will be providing a summary of key issues covered in tomorrow’s hearings.
A full program for the hearing is available on the Committee’s website.
ASIC to host roundtable on IDR
ASIC has alerted AIST that it will be hosting a roundtable for the superannuation industry on RG271.
The standards and requirements highlighted in this guide are enforceable and come into effect on 5 October 2021. It explains what these financial firms must do to have an internal dispute resolution (IDR) system in place that meets ASIC’s standards and requirements.
The roundtable will be held on 25 November and invitations were sent by ASIC this afternoon.
For details on how to register click here
AIST will be invited to attend so please send any questions you would like raised to Mel Birks, firstname.lastname@example.org
AFCA moves to deal with unresolved SCT complaints
AFCA has finalised its consultation on the proposed Rules change to transfer unfinished complaints from the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT).
AFCA has advised that the SCT has finalised the majority of remaining complaints, although a small number of complaints are yet to be finalised and would need to be transferred to AFCA.
Complaints yet to be finalised will enter AFCA’s dispute resolution process at the stage most comparable to the stage the complaint reached at the SCT. The SCT will also transfer complaint files to AFCA to ensure that all information is made available to decision makers.
AFCA will also be able to hear matters currently before the Federal Court that are remitted back to its jurisdiction. Pending approval from ASIC, AFCA anticipates the Rules will be released in January 2021.
Early release applications continue downward trend
The latest APRA figures for the early release scheme there were 24,000 applications to the COVID early release scheme for week ending 25 October.
This represents a slight drop on the previous week’s 25,000 applications.
Of the applications received by funds, 16,000 were initial and 8,000 were repeat applications. The total number of initial applications since inception of the scheme is around 3.3 million and repeat applications are 1.3 million.
So far, $34.6 billion in early release has been paid out by super funds since the scheme began. The average payment made over the period since inception is $7,400 overall and $8,346 when considering repeat applications only.
Rest settles litigation on climate change risk
In a move that some commentators are suggesting could set a standard for the way super funds address climate change risk, AIST member fund, Rest has settled the Federal Court proceedings brought against it by member Mark McVeigh.
In a media statement released earlier this week, Rest outlined its commitment to managing climate change risk and further steps to address this risk. Rest said would continue to develop the systems, policies and processes to ensure that the financial risks of climate change were identified, and where possible, quantified in respect of both individual assets and the fund’s portfolio as a whole.
In the statement, Rest outlined nine initiatives which included implementing a long-term objective to achieve a net zero carbon footprint for the fund by 2050; measuring, monitoring and reporting outcomes on its climate related progress and actions in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures TCFD; publicly disclosing the fund’s portfolio holdings; and requiring the funds’ investment managers and advisers to comply with the initiatives.
AIST’s weekly update on the status of legislation
The current status of superannuation Bills currently before Parliament can be found here.