Close this search box.
Issue 709, 29 May 2019 
In this issue: 


Retirement income system review and other superannuation reforms: Treasurer’s intentions 

The newly re-appointed Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg MP, has indicated in a media interview that he will commission a review of the retirement income system, and will revisit a number of other reform proposals that the Government had not implemented prior to the recent election. 

The Treasurer has reportedly indicated he will consult with cabinet colleagues and Treasury to act on the recommendation from the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the efficiency and competitiveness of the superannuation industry regarding a review of the retirement income system. This is likely to include the interaction of superannuation, government pensions and, potentially, taxation. 

According to the media reports, the Treasurer has also indicated that the Government will: 



Governance, culture and accountability: industry self-assessments 

APRA has released a paper analysing recent self-assessments on governance, culture and accountability carried out by a number of Australia’s largest banks, insurers and superannuation licensees. 

In 2017, APRA commissioned a ‘prudential inquiry’ to examine the frameworks and practices in relation to the governance, culture and accountability within the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and its group entities. In May 2018, APRA published the extensive final report from that inquiry, identifying a number of prominent cultural themes that APRA considered raised matters of prudential concern. 

In June 2018, APRA wrote to the boards of 36 banks, insurers and superannuation licensees, asking them to gauge whether the prudential issues identified in the CBA prudential inquiry also existed in their own organisations. After receiving the self-assessments last December, APRA’s frontline supervision teams carried out detailed analysis and benchmarking of their quality and the key issues that institutions identified. 

APRA has now reported noting a wide variation in the quality of the self-assessments. In particular, according to APRA, while most institutions recognised the opportunity provided by the findings in the CBA prudential inquiry final report to critically examine their own organisation, a small number took a lighter touch approach and viewed it as an exercise for APRA rather than an opportunity to drive improvement. 

APRA has now published an information paper, highlighting consistent findings from the self-assessments. These include the following: 

APRA Deputy Chair John Lonsdale said that while the self-assessments “raised no concerns about financial soundness, they confirmed our observation that industry is grappling to manage non-financial risks, such as culture and accountability”. Mr Lonsdale said the findings would be used to help APRA better target its efforts to lift standards of non-financial risk management, as outlined in its 2019 policy priorities. 



Protecting Your Super reforms: ATO guidance 

The ATO has published updated guidance on aspects of the Protecting Your Super (PYS) reforms that will require superannuation trustees to transfer inactive low-balance accounts to the ATO for consolidation. 

The updated guidance builds on material published earlier in May (see ASFA Action issue 708) and comprises: 

The ATO has also published a number of new reporting documents and process maps. 



2017 Super reforms: ATO guidance 

The ATO has issued updated guidance on aspects of the major superannuation reforms that commenced on 1 July 2017. 

The updated guidance comprises: 

The ATO has also withdrawn the draft consolidation of Law Companion Ruling LCR 2016/12Superannuation reform: total superannuation balance. The withdrawal is as a result of the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Superannuation Measures No. 1) Bill 2018 having lapsed when Parliament was prorogued on 11 April 2019. The draft consolidation of LCR 2016/12 described how the Commissioner intended to apply amendments to the tax law proposed in that Bill in relation to limited recourse borrowing arrangements. 




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

and other regulatory announcements relevant to superannuation.

Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Logged in as

Most recent