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Issue 799, 20 April 2021 
In this issue: 

 

Royal Commission implementation: single disciplinary body for financial advisers

The Government has released for consultation a draft Bill to implement its response to recommendation 2.10 from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (Financial Services Royal Commission). That recommendation related to the establishment of a single disciplinary body for financial advisers and the requirement that all financial advisers who provide personal financial advice to retail clients be registered.

The draft Bill:
 

The draft Bill also introduces a single registration and disciplinary system for financial advisers who provide tax (financial) advice services. This implements the Government’s response to recommendation 7.1 from a 2019 Independent Review of the Tax Practitioners Board.

Treasury is seeking comments on the draft Bill by 14 May.
 

 

Royal Commission implementation: claimant intermediary regulations 

The Government has made regulations supporting the implementation of its response to recommendations from the Financial Services Royal Commission in relation to insurance claims handling. 

The Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response) Act 2020 created a licensing requirement for “claimant intermediaries” – defined as a person who carries on a business of representing people to pursue insurance claims in exchange for a monetary or non-monetary benefit, or a benefit provided to another party. 

The Government has now made the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response) (Claimant Intermediaries) Regulations 2021 to prescribe circumstances in which a person will not be considered to be a “claimant intermediary”. This includes financial advisers in the following circumstances: 

The Regulation were released for consultation last December (see ASFA Action 789). 

 

Temporary financial advice relief measure extended 

ASIC has announced it will extend until 15 October a relief measure that allows financial advisers to provide a record of advice rather than a statement of advice (SoA) to existing clients requiring financial advice due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The relief measure was one of three introduced last April to help the financial advice industry provide consumers with affordable and timely advice during the pandemic. It was originally implemented via the ASIC Corporations (COVID-19 – Advice-related Relief) Instrument 2020/355, with an expiry date of 15 October 2020, and was subsequently extended to 15 April 2021 by the ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2020/862. ASIC has now registered ASIC Corporations (COVID-19—Advice-related Relief) Instrument 2021/268 to further extend the relief measure until 15 October 2021.

ASIC has noted that it will continue to monitor the appropriateness of the temporary relief in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the demand for financial advice. If appropriate, ASIC will end the relief before 15 October 2021 or extend it. ASIC will give sufficient notice to industry before any early repeal or extension is implemented.

The other relief measures announced in April 2020 have now lapsed. These included: 

The first two of those measures have ceased because the Coronavirus early release initiative has concluded. ASIC has indicated that the third of these measures (in relation to ‘urgent advice’) has not been extended following industry feedback that it was no longer necessary. 

See ASFA Action issues 777 and 759 for background in relation to these relief measures. 

 

APRA Super Data Transformation project: revised due dates 

In ASFA Action issue 797 we reported that APRA had finalised ten reporting standards under phase 1 of its Superannuation Data Transformation project.

APRA has subsequently advised that it has updated three of those reporting standards to correct the due date for the first submission (for the reporting period ending 30 June 2021). The correction alters the due date to 30 September 2021 (previously 28 days after the reporting period).

The impacted reporting standards are: 

 

New IDR requirements: ASIC’s expectations for super trustees 

ASIC has published on its website an article outlining its expectations of superannuation trustees in relation to the new internal dispute resolution (IDR) requirements to be implemented via Regulatory Guide 271 (RG 271).

The article notes that while RG 271 does not take effect until 5 October 2021, there are significant legal issues to be addressed in ensuring that trustees meet the new obligations.

The topics addressed in the article include: 

In particular, ASIC: 

 

Survey for members of superannuation funds with a health condition or disability 

The Collaborative Partnership to improve work participation, a national effort by public, private and not-for-profit sectors anchored by Comcare, is asking superannuation funds to promote a survey to their members who may have a health condition or disability.

The survey will provide a better understanding of how and when people transition between income support systems, their experiences and impacts on their health and work outcomes. Responses may help to inform and drive improvements in systems policy and design.

The Collaborative Partnership is especially keen to get results from superannuation members to ensure that superannuation and insurance in superannuation benefits are properly represented in the results data.

Further information about the survey and the Collaborative Partnership can be found here and the survey itself can be found here.

If you have any questions about how your fund could promote the survey to members please contact Senior Policy Adviser, Byron Addison by email or on 02 8079 0834.
 

 

Payment Times Reporting Scheme: upcoming reporting deadline 

The Government has updated the business.gov.au website to remind large businesses about upcoming reporting requirements under the Payment Times Reporting Scheme. The Scheme requires large businesses—including superannuation funds—to report on their small business payment terms and times, via a public Payment Times Reports register.

For businesses with a standard financial year, the first six-monthly reporting period for the Scheme ends on 30 June, with the three-month reporting window opening on 1 July.

See ASFA Action issues 786 and 781 for background about the Scheme. 

 

 

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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