MTAA Super and Tasplan merger process extended

MTAA Super and Tasplan have extended the timeline of their planned merger due to the COVID-19 global crisis. Originally set for 1 October 2020, the merger date has now been extended to 31 March 2021 at the earliest.

This decision followed the joint recommendation of MTAA Super CEO Leeanne Turner and Tasplan CEO Wayne Davy to the chairs of both boards.

Despite the new timeline, Turner said the decision behind the merger and the benefits to members of both funds remain unchanged.

“We still believe the merger is in the best interest of members of both funds. A combined fund will provide greater efficiencies, improved products and services, increased capability, and better value to members. So, we remain fully committed to the merger — just with an extended time.”

Turner also acknowledged that recent COVID-19 restrictions have put extra strain on people.

“Clearly things have changed rapidly for all Australians in the last few weeks. We recognise the pressure that this is putting on our members and our staff, both at work and at home. We think extending the merger timeline will ease stress and help our staff better manage workloads and their personal arrangements.”

COVID-19 Coronavirus: APRA and ASIC letter to trustees and FAQs

APRA and ASIC have jointly written to registrable superannuation entity (RSE) licensees to provide guidance to help them manage the financial and operational challenges associated with COVID-19, while continuing to meet their obligations to look after members’ best interests.

The letter addresses issues in relation to liquidity, communication with members, insurance, and monitoring for scams and fraud.

APRA has published answers to the following superannuation-related frequently asked questions (FAQs):

  1. In light of the additional pressures on the administration of superannuation funds, what action should trustees be taking?
  2. Will APRA continue with the Super Data Transformation project?
  3. Is APRA providing trustees relief from complying with SPS515 Strategic Planning and Member Outcomes, in particular the requirement to undertake a business performance review (BPR) by 31 December 2020?
  4. APRA has some data queries underway with certain trustees – are these continuing?
  5. Should trustees continue to undertake a trial outcomes assessment?
  6. Will APRA’s superannuation publications be released as planned?
  7. Will APRA publish the updated MySuper Product Heatmap with updated fee data in June 2020?
  8. Will APRA proceed with thematic activity relating to outsourcing and conflicts management, which had been planned for 2020?
  9. Will APRA take action against trustees for breaching the three-day portability rule?
  10. Will the publication of the industry level findings from the joint work on trustees’ oversight of fees and other charges be deferred?

ASIC has published answers to the following superannuation-related FAQs:

  1. Will the publication of the industry level findings from the joint work on trustee’s oversight of fees and other charges be deferred?
  2. Will ASIC be amending ASIC Class Order [CO 14/443] to extend relief for portfolio holdings disclosure obligations?
  3. Will ASIC be providing any relief from the requirement to hold an annual members’ meeting under section 29P of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993?

The FAQs will be updated periodically over the coming weeks and months.

First State Super and WA Super in merger talks

First State Super and WA Super have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore the benefits of a merger.

Over the coming months both funds will undertake an extensive due diligence process to ensure that the merger is in their members’ best interests.

First State Super and its financial planning business StatePlus, has had a presence in WA for many years, supporting nearly 8000 members and clients in the State.

By combining with WA Super, the merged fund would have around 60,000 members in the State, and for this reason both funds remain committed to providing local service and support in Western Australia.