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Issue 842, 22 February 2022 
In this issue: 


Remaking of super disclosure instruments: ASIC consultation 

ASIC is consulting on proposals to remake relief contained in seven legislative instruments relating to specific financial services disclosure requirements. Most of the instruments will automatically repeal or cease in the next two years if not remade. 

Consultation Paper CP 358Remaking ASIC relief on PDSs, superannuation dashboards and FSGs (CP 358) outlines ASIC’s proposal to consolidate the seven instruments into three new instruments without substantive changes. 

In particular, CP 358 outlines ASIC’s proposals to: 

 ASIC has reached the preliminary view that the existing instruments are generally operating effectively and continue to form a necessary and useful part of the legislative framework. However, in remaking the instruments, ASIC proposes to omit relief that has become redundant and update some conditions of the relief. 

If you have any feedback that you would like ASFA to consider in relation to the consultation, please forward it to Fiona Galbraith by close of business Friday 18 March. 


Superannuation Data Transformation: APRA consultation on publication of data 

APRA has commenced consultation on proposals to publish its enhanced data collection after the completion of Phase 1 of its multi-year Superannuation Data Transformation project. 

APRA determined ten new reporting standards under Phase 1 of the project last September (see ASFA Action issue 825). 

APRA has now released a discussion paper: Superannuation Data Transformation – Publications and Confidentiality. This outlines proposals to publish the enhanced data collection, including what will – and will not – be treated as confidential. 

Starting in June this year, APRA proposes publishing new aggregate industry, fund-level and product-level statistics containing key metrics, including improved data on insurance arrangements, expenses, member demographics and asset allocation classifications. Where relevant, new approaches will be used to better enable comparisons across complex fee and cost structures or insurance design. 

APRA is proposing to determine most of the data collected under Phase 1 as ‘non-confidential’, and therefore able to be published. It will be the first time APRA has published data on all products and investment options — until now, APRA has only published product-level data for MySuper products. 

In addition to the expanded data publications, APRA has indicated it plans to introduce two types of datasets for users to access published statistics in a format that is easily consumed by their own reporting tools: 

APRA intends to issue its final determinations around data confidentiality in June, with the first statistical publication under the new reporting standards released soon after. 

If you have any feedback that you would like ASFA to consider in relation to the consultation, please forward it to Julian Cabarrus by close of business Friday 25 March.  


ASIC/APRA meeting: seeking ASFA member feedback on topical issues 

ASFA has regular liaison meetings with ASIC and APRA. 

ASIC and APRA are interested in the views of our members, and whether there are any critical issues, with respect to the following matters: 

If you have any feedback, comments or questions about any of these matters, or have any issues that you would like to raise, please forward them to Fiona Galbraith by close of business Friday 18 March. 


Super Data Transformation: FAQs 

APRA has updated its frequently asked questions (FAQs) in relation to the reporting standards issued under Phase 1 of its Superannuation Data Transformation project. 

In the update, APRA has reportedly: 


Portfolio Holdings Disclosure: ASIC responses to industry questions 

ASIC has provided responses to industry questions about portfolio holdings disclosure (PHD), to be transparent and to facilitate a consistent understanding of its approach towards compliance with the PHD requirements. 

Under the PHD legislation, from 31 December 2021 trustees need to disclose on their fund website their investment holdings information as at 31 December and 30 June within 90 days. 


Financial reporting and auditing requirements for superannuation funds: Bill introduced 

The Government has introduced into Parliament a Bill to extend the current financial reporting and auditing requirements imposed on registrable superannuation entities (RSEs), to align them with those that apply to public companies. 

In broad terms, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Streamlining and Improving Economic Outcomes for Australians) Bill 2022 amends the Corporations Act 2001, Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission Act 2001 so the financial reporting obligations imposed on RSEs are consistent with those that apply to public companies and registered schemes under the Corporations Act. Currently, the requirements in relation to financial reporting and auditing for RSEs are primarily set out in the SIS Act, with some requirements in the prudential standards. 

The Bill sets out the following reforms: 

The amendments are proposed to apply from 1 July 2023. 

The Government consulted on an exposure draft of the Bill last August (see ASFA Action issue 819). The Bill as introduced has several key differences to the exposure draft, the most significant of which include: 


Modernising business communications: Bill introduced 

The Government has introduced into Parliament a Bill that seeks to establish a ‘global communications regime’ for documents sent under the Corporations Act 2001. 

On 10 February, Parliament passed the Corporations (Meetings and Documents) Bill 2022 (Meetings and Documents Act) and it is currently awaiting Royal Assent. This will amend the Corporations Act to allow companies to sign and execute documents electronically or using wet-ink and companies, responsible entities of registered schemes and disclosing entities to send meetings-related documents electronically or in hard copy. See ASFA Action issue 841 in relation to these reforms. 

On 17 February, the Government introduced into the House of Representatives the Treasury Laws Amendment (Modernising Business Communications) Bill 2022 (Modernising Business Communications Bill). This proposes amendments that would expand the scope of the reforms implemented by the Meetings and Documents Act so that: 

The Bill proposes that these global communications regime reforms would commence on the later of the day after Royal Assent or immediately after the commencement of related reforms in the Meetings and Documents Act. 

The Bill also includes some amendments to various Treasury portfolio laws that require or permit notices to be published in newspapers, to replace these provisions with technology neutral rules. It also repeals several newspaper publication provisions, and associated provisions, which no longer serve any purpose. Of relevance to superannuation, the Bill amends section 142 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) which contains rules relating to the winding-up or dissolution of superannuation entities. Currently APRA is required to advertise the making of instruments made under the section in certain newspapers. Under the amendment, APRA will instead be required to publish notice of the making of the instruments in a manner that results in the notice being accessible to the public and reasonably prominent. 

The Bill also makes some unrelated amendments to remove from the SIS Act redundant references to the registrable superannuation entity licensing transition period. As that period expired several years ago, these provisions are no longer needed. 


Public sector superannuation: amending Bill – Your Future, Your Super 

The Government has introduced into Parliament a Bill amending several existing pieces of legislation governing public sector superannuation, to reflect the Your Future, Your Super reforms (YFYS) relating to the annual performance test for MySuper products and superannuation fund ‘stapling’. 

While the YFYS reforms applied effectively to some Commonwealth-run accumulation schemes, some other public sector superannuation arrangements — governed by the Parliamentary Superannuation Act 2004, the Superannuation Act 2005 and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Act 2021 — have complexities that prevented full alignment of treatment. 

According to the explanatory memorandum, the Public Sector Superannuation Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 seeks to ensure that relevant Commonwealth superannuation arrangements are treated consistent with sector-wide reforms that already apply to most superannuation schemes run for the benefit of other Australians. 


Superannuation co-contribution regulations remade 

The Government has registered the Superannuation (Government Co-contribution for Low Income Earners) Regulations 2022. These replace the existing regulations supporting the co-contribution scheme, the Superannuation (Government Co-contribution for Low Income Earners) Regulations 2004, which are due to sunset (expire) on 1 April. 

According to the explanatory material, the Regulations remake and improve the 2004 Regulations by omitting redundant provisions, simplifying language and renumbering provisions for ease of navigation. These changes do not affect the substantive meaning or operation of the provisions except in these limited cases: 

The regulations were previously released in draft for consultation in December-January (see ASFA Action issue 838). 


APRA insight: compliance risk 

APRA has published an Insight article on how regulated entities might approach managing compliance risk. 

The article notes that: 




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

and other regulatory announcements relevant to superannuation.

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