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Issue 695, 19 December 2018 
In this issue: 

 

Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO): superannuation-related measures 

The Government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2018-19 commits funding for a Treasury taskforce to support implementation of the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. MYEFO also confirms a number of announcements relevant to superannuation made since the May 2018 Budget. 

See ASFA Action issue 691 for more information. 

 

 

Section 29QC consistency of disclosure: deferral 

As foreshadowed in ASFA Action issue 691, ASIC has further deferred the commencement date for the ‘consistency of disclosure’ requirements in section 29QC of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, until 1 January 2024. 

To promote systemic transparency, subsection 29QC(1) requires a registrable superannuation entity licensee to ensure that, where it is required to give information to APRA under a reporting standard that requires the information to be calculated in a particular way, and where the same or equivalent information is given to other persons, the information given to the other person is calculated in the same way as the information given to APRA. 

While subsection 29QC(1) was originally intended to commence on 1 July 2013, ASIC subsequently issued a number of extensions to ensure that the requirements appropriately aligned with APRA’s reporting standards, the proposed choice product dashboard rules and the expanded fee and cost disclosure rules. The most recent extension deferred commencement until 1 January 2019. 

ASIC has now made ASIC Superannuation (Amendment) Instrument 2018/1080, further deferring the commencement of section 29QC(1). ASIC has noted that: 

As a result, Instrument 2018/1080 extends the exemption from the requirement in subsection 29QC(1) of the SIS Act until 1 January 2024. ASIC notes that this will defer the commencement of the subsection 29QC(1) requirement to a time ASIC expects will allow for the requirements for the choice product dashboards and in relation to fee and cost disclosure requirements to be settled. 

ASIC notes that the new five-year deferral does not represent a policy view by ASIC in relation to section 29QC or a view as to the time likely to be taken in settling related policy positions or finalising any impacts on APRA reporting standards. The five-year deferral is subject to change, pending and according to the progress of those matters. 

 

 

AUSTRAC: AML/CTF guidance for superannuation sector 

AUSTRAC has released anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) guidance to educate Australia’s superannuation sector of the risks they face from criminal exploitation and how they can proactively combat financial crime. 

The publication, Industry specific guidance: superannuation sector, focuses on specific risks and potential scenarios relating to money laundering, terrorism financing and serious financial crime specific to superannuation companies. It also gives examples of methods these organisations can use to mitigate these risks and combat criminal threats. 

The release of the guidance follows AUSTRAC’s publication of the Superannuation Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Risk Assessment in July 2016. 

AUSTRAC CEO Nicole Rose PSM said that while the superannuation sector is not traditionally associated with financial crime exploitation, AUSTRAC’s assessments show there is a higher than perceived risk and it is important that the sector understands these risks so that they can combat the threats. 

 

 

Family law superannuation splitting: technical amendments 

New legislation that makes widespread reforms to the Family Law Act 1975 has also made minor, technical amendments relevant to superannuation, by renumbering key provisions of the superannuation splitting regime. 

The Civil Law and Justice Legislation Amendment Act 2018 renumbers Part VIIIB of the Family Law Act, which gives a court the power to deal with the superannuation interests of separating married or de facto couples, including making orders as to how superannuation should be split between the couple. According to the explanatory material, the amendments rectify discontinuous numbering and improve the readability and ease of use of Part VIIIB. 

The Act received Royal Assent on 25 October and the amendments commenced on 22 November. 

According to the explanatory material, the amendments rectify discontinuous numbering and improve the readability and ease of use of Part VIIIB. A reference to any of the renumbered provisions appearing in a Commonwealth law, a notice or other document given under Commonwealth law, or a contract, agreement, deed, judgment or other instrument that was in force immediately before the renumbering commenced is to be treated as a reference to the renumbered provision. Accordingly, superannuation splitting orders and agreements made prior to 22 November will continue to be valid despite referencing the previously applicable numbering of legislative provisions. Orders and agreements made from 22 November should refer to the renumbered provisions. 

 

 

Opposition superannuation policy announcements 

The Opposition has made a number of superannuation-related policy announcements during its 2018 National Conference. 

In particular, the Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen MP and the Shadow Minister for Financial Services Clare O’Neil MP announced that, if elected, Labor will: 

The Conference also reportedly voted to “urgently prioritise” ending the freeze on superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions at 9.5 per cent and increase super to 12 per cent “as soon as practicable”. Reportedly, “Once the important goal of 12 per cent has been achieved Labor will set out the pathway to its original objective of 15 per cent to further enhance retirement income adequacy for workers”. 

 

 

ASFA Thomson Geer Regulatory Update: December 2018 

Delivered in partnership with Thomson Geer, the latest edition of the ASFA Thomson Geer Regulatory Update has been released and is now available for members to download from the Regulatory Update section of the ASFA website. 

This free ASFA member service seeks to keep you up to date with the changing superannuation environment, and provides essential information for those wanting to stay abreast of the challenges and issues facing superannuation funds. This edition of the Update focuses on legislation and pertinent case law developments for the period October – December 2018. 

The information will be of particular use to: 

Members wishing to discuss the Update can contact Julia Stannard. 

 

 

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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