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Issue 841, 15 February 2022 
In this issue: 

 

2021-22 Budget measures Bill passed by Parliament 

The Bill to implement several of the superannuation-related measures announced in the May 2021 Budget has been passed by Parliament. 

Of relevance to superannuation, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Superannuation Outcomes for Australians and Helping Australian Businesses Invest) Bill 2021 proposes amendments to: 

While the Australian Greens had tabled amendments opposing the reforms to the work test, downsizer contribution and FHSSS, the Bill was passed by the Senate on 10 February without amendment. 

See ASFA Action issue 831 for background in relation to this Bill. 

 

Retirement income covenant Bill passed by Parliament 

The Corporate Collective Investment Vehicle Framework and Other Measures Bill 2021, which contains provisions to establish the retirement income covenant (RIC), was passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate on 10 February without amendment. 

The RIC is an obligation on trustees of registrable superannuation entities to develop a retirement income strategy for beneficiaries who are retired or approaching retirement. Trustees are required to have their strategy formulated in writing with a summary publicly available from 1 July 2022, but are not required to give effect to all components of their strategy by this date. 

See ASFA Action issue 835 for background in relation to this Bill.  

 

Proxy advice regulations disallowed by Parliament 

Regulations that would have imposed new requirements on the providers and users of proxy advice services have been disallowed by the Senate. 

As reported in ASFA Action issue 838, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Greater Transparency of Proxy Advice) Regulations 2021, registered on 17 December, sought to amend the Corporations Regulations 2001 to specify: 

The Regulations also sought to amend the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 to expand the range of information that Registrable Superannuation Entity (RSE) licensees must make publicly available on the registrable superannuation entity’s website. The new information requirements would have included a summary of how voting rights attaching to shares in listed companies that the trustee of the RSE holds, or in which the trustee holds beneficial interests, have been exercised. 

Following a motion moved by Senators Rex Patrick (Rex Patrick Team) and Nick McKim (Australian Greens), the Senate voted on 10 February to disallow the Regulations. 

 

Virtual and hybrid meetings and electronic document execution: Bill passed by Parliament 

Parliament has passed a Bill to make permanent relief provided on a temporary basis, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing companies to use technology to meet certain requirements under the Corporations Act 2001 around meetings and documents. 

As reported in ASFA Action issue 830, the Corporations Amendment (Meetings and Documents) Bill 2021 includes amendments to: 

The amendments to be made by the Bill will apply to meeting-related documents sent and meetings held on or after 1 April 2022, and to documents executed on or after the day after the Bill receives Royal Assent. The current temporary relief will remain in place until 31 March 2022. 

The Bill was amended by the Government in the House of Representatives in November, to effectively require a review of the operation of the amendments permitting wholly virtual meetings within 30 months of their commencement. 

The Bill was passed by the Senate on 10 February without further amendment. 

As reported in previous ASFA Actions, the relief measures are not specific to superannuation but will be relevant to the way superannuation trustee companies discharge their general obligations under the Corporations Act. 

 

Tax Integrity Bill with superannuation amendments introduced 

The Government has introduced into Parliament a Bill dealing with tax integrity measures that includes some amendments of relevance to superannuation. 

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Tax Integrity and Supporting Business Investment) Bill 2022, introduced into the House of Representatives on 9 February, contains amendments including amendment to: 

 

Critical infrastructure: Bill introduced 

The Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure Protection) Bill 2022 was introduced to the House of Representatives on 10 February (see ASFA Action issue 830 for further background). 

The Bill is the second part of a critical infrastructure package that was split in two last October. The first part, the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Act 2021, received Royal Assent on 2 December. 

Superannuation trustees are included in the reforms through the concept of a ‘critical superannuation asset’ and the definition contained in the Security of Critical Infrastructure (Definitions) Rules. The reforms give the Minister discretion to effectively switch obligations on and off as is deemed necessary in changing circumstances. 

In simple terms the Bill proposes further amendments to the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 in relation to: 

The Department of Home Affairs has indicated in the consultation process that, to avoid duplication, certain requirements may not be ‘switched on’ where an existing regulatory regime, such as that administered by APRA for registrable superannuation entity licensees, matches the requirements under the Bill. 

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

 

APRA policy priorities 2022-23 

APRA has released its policy priorities for 2022-23, detailing several initiatives relevant to superannuation. These include: 

 

 

ASFA REGULATORY WATCHLIST

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

and other regulatory announcements relevant to superannuation.

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