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Issue 694, 12 December 2018 
In this issue: 


Strengthening superannuation member outcomes 

APRA has released a package of new and enhanced prudential requirements designed to strengthen the focus of registrable superannuation entity (RSE) licensees on the delivery of quality outcomes for their members enhanced prudential requirements. See ASFA Action issues 655, 659 and 690 for background on the package and the consultation process. 

The new requirements include the introduction of an outcomes assessment that will require RSE licensees to annually benchmark and evaluate their performance for choice and MySuper products in delivering sound, value-for money outcomes for members. 

RSE licensees will also be required to meet strengthened requirements for strategic and business planning, including management and oversight of fund expenditure and reserves. 

The commencement date for the new measures has been set as 1 January 2020, to provide industry with sufficient time to meet the new requirements. (During the consultation process, APRA had indicated a commencement date of 1 January 2019.) 

The final package includes: 

APRA acknowledges that the Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No.1) Bill 2017, if passed, would introduce a legislated outcomes assessment and it will review whether amendments are needed to prudential framework requirements if the Bill is passed by Parliament at some point in the future. 


Key changes 

APRA has made a number of changes to its original proposals following consultation. These include: 

If you have any questions please contact Byron Addison, Senior Policy Adviser by email or on 02 8079 0834. 



Financial services complaints: ASIC research and comments 

ASIC has released research exploring the consumer experience of internal dispute resolution (IDR) procedures across the financial services sector. ASIC has also reminded financial services providers that it will be consulting on changes to IDR arrangements early in 2019. 

ASIC recently commissioned research to better understand the experience of people thinking about or making a complaint to a financial services firm. The research revealed the incidence of complaints across the financial services sector, as well as the barriers and difficulties people face in approaching and navigating the complaints process. The findings from the research have been published as Report 603, The consumer journey through the Internal Dispute Resolution process of financial service providers. 

Significantly, the research found that only 45 per cent of complainants who received an unfavourable outcome received an explanation of the decision made against them by the firm and only 21 per cent of complainants whose complaints were not resolved in the required timeframe had the external dispute resolution process explained to them. ASIC has indicated it was “particularly concerned” about these findings as these steps are essential to assist consumers to effectively escalate their complaint for external dispute resolution. 

The release of Report 603 is the first step in a coordinated body of work that ASIC is undertaking to raise financial services IDR standards and transparency. 

From February, ASIC will be consulting publicly on a review of existing IDR guidance set out in Regulatory Guide 165, Licensing: Internal and external dispute resolution. This review will consider, amongst other matters: 

ASIC has indicated that all financial firms should closely review the research findings and consider whether their complaints procedures need to be reformed to improve the experience for consumers and to ensure that identified problems are remedied effectively and promptly. Firms should also prepare to engage with ASIC about its review of the complaints handling standards and requirements. 




ASFA’s Regulatory Watchlist (ARW) tracks developments in Legislation, inquiries, consultations

and other regulatory announcements relevant to superannuation.

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