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Issue 836, 7 December 2021 
In this issue: 


Retirement Income Covenant: Bill referred to Parliamentary committee 

The Bill containing provisions to establish the retirement income covenant has been referred to a Parliamentary committee. 

The Senate Economics Legislation Committee will inquire into the Corporate Collective Investment Vehicle Framework and Other Measures Bill 2021 and report by 3 February. 

Submissions to the inquiry are due by 7 January. If you have any feedback you would like ASFA to consider in relation to the Bill, please forward it to Fiona Galbraith by close of business 24 December. 

The Bill was introduced into the House of Representatives on 25 November (see ASFA Action issue 835) and has not yet been debated in Parliament. 


Miscellaneous amendments to Treasury portfolio laws 2022: consultation 

Treasury has released a consultation package comprising a draft Bill, Regulations and Rules proposing “minor and technical” amendments to a range of Treasury portfolio laws. 

Of relevance to superannuation, the draft Regulations outline amendments to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994, Retirement Savings Account Regulations 1997 and Income Tax Assessment (1997 Act) Regulations 2021 in relation to the non-capped defined benefit income streams. 

According to the explanatory material, the proposed amendments will “make minor and technical changes that address unintended outcomes arising from the inability of recipients of certain non-capped defined benefit income streams (that were commenced on or after 1 July 2017) to address excess transfer balance amounts. These changes ensure that the relevant regulations operate as intended.” 

Treasury is seeking submissions by close of business 15 December. 


Strengthening crisis preparedness: APRA consultation 

APRA has released a discussion paper and two proposed new prudential standards to strengthen the preparedness of banks, insurers and superannuation trustees to respond to future financial crises. The new standards are aimed at ensuring entities are prepared to deal with threats to their viability, thereby reducing the negative consequences resulting from failure.  

Deputy Chair John Lonsdale said the disorderly failure of an APRA-regulated entity could have a significant impact on the economy and society. “APRA-regulated entities have made substantial improvements in contingency planning over recent years, however there remain large gaps in capabilities between entities and across industries. By laying out a consistent, transparent and enforceable framework, APRA will be better able to strengthen crisis preparedness and close those gaps.” 

APRA proposes that CPS 900 would apply from 1 January 2024, while CPS 190 would come into force from 1 January 2024 for banks and insurers and from 1 January 2025 for superannuation trustees. APRA will also consult on supporting guidance material in 2022. 

The consultation on CPS 190 and CPS 900 will close on 29 April. If you have any feedback you would like ASFA to consider in relation to the proposed standards, please forward it to Byron Addison by close of business Friday, 15 April 2022. 


Review of the financial services legislative framework: interim report 

As reported in recent ASFA Actions, the Australian Law Reform Commission is conducting a multi-year review of the legislative framework for corporations and financial services regulation. The terms of reference for the review set out three sub-topics: 

The Commission has published its first interim report from the review, Financial Services Legislation: Interim Report A (ALRC Report 137). The report concludes that the laws regulating corporations and financial services are uniquely and unnecessarily complex. 

The Commission is seeking feedback on proposals and questions to address complexity in financial services legislation. The Commission has also made several recommendations, which it considers “relate to matters of consensus” and could accordingly be implemented prior to the conclusion of the inquiry, if accepted by the Government. 

The matters addressed in the Commission’s proposals, questions and recommendations include: 

Submissions to the Commission are due by close of business Friday 25 February.

ASFA Tax Committee: call for expressions of interest 

ASFA is seeking expressions of interest for membership of its Tax Specialist Advisory Committee. 

The Committee comprises senior tax professionals from ASFA’s superannuation fund and service provider members. It actively supports ASFA’s advocacy on tax matters, including by identifying issues of concern, participating in meetings with relevant agencies including the ATO and Treasury, and drafting responses to technical tax consultations. 

If you, or a colleague, are interested in being considered for membership of the Committee, please contact Julia Stannard by close of business Friday 14 January. Please note that membership of the Committee is limited to suitably qualified and experienced representatives of ASFA’s organisational members. 


Miscellaneous amendments Bill passed by Parliament 

A Bill making a range of minor and technical amendments, including to superannuation and superannuation-related tax laws, was passed by Parliament in its last week of sitting and now awaits Royal Assent. 

In particular, the Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No 5 Bill) 2021 includes: 


Superannuation Bills update 

Parliament concluded its sittings for 2021 on 2 December and will not sit again until 8 February. 

As noted above, the Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No 5 Bill) 2021 has been passed by both houses and awaits Royal Assent. 

The status of other superannuation-related bills, when Parliament rose, was as follows: 


APRA data FAQs 

APRA has published six additional frequently asked questions (FAQs) to provide further guidance to registrable superannuation entity licensees on the reporting standards and the reporting of historical data for Phase 1 of the Superannuation Data Transformation (SDT) project. 

The new FAQs address issues in relation to: 


Limited advice: ASIC guidance and examples 

ASIC has released an information sheet on limited advice and an example statement of advice (SOA) to assist financial advisers and advice licensees comply with their obligations when providing limited personal advice to retail clients. 

INFO 267: Tips for giving limited advice provides tips and summarises the relevant guidance from Regulatory Guide 175 Licensing: Financial product advisers-Conduct and disclosure and Regulatory Guide 244 Giving information, general advice and scaled advice. The information sheet includes details of what advice providers can do to meet their obligations under the law, including the best interests duty and related obligations as well as the  Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) Financial Planners and Advisers Code of Ethics (Code of Ethics) when giving limited advice. 

ASIC Commissioner Danielle Press said: 

“ASIC recognises that many consumers prefer to seek limited and specific advice rather than comprehensive advice. We also understand that industry faces some barriers to providing limited advice, including a lack of clarity about the regulatory requirements. 

We expect this guidance will provide regulatory certainty to industry and help reduce compliance costs. It will assist financial advisers in their efforts to make these forms of advice more available to consumers and assist them in delivering quality advice in a timely, affordable, and compliant manner. 

ASIC’s SOA example is annotated to help advisers understand the relevant requirements under the Corporations Act 2001 and follows the recent release of ASIC’s guidance and example records of advice (see ASFA Action issue 832 for background). 

The release of INFO 267 and the related examples also follows consultation last November regarding access to affordable advice, through Consultation Paper CP 332 (see ASFA Action issues 812 and 784 for background). 


Remuneration: final APRA standard determined 

APRA has formally determined its new prudential standard CPS 511Remuneration. CPS 511 applies to all APRA-regulated entities, including superannuation registered superannuation entity licensees. 

The Banking, Insurance, Life Insurance, Health Insurance and Superannuation (prudential standard) determination No. 1 of 2021 gives formal effect to CPS 511, which will commence on 1 January 2023. 

APRA published the final version of CPS 511 in late August and more recently finalised supporting guidance for CPS 511 — see ASFA Action issues 822 and 829 for details. 


2022 Parliamentary sittings, 2022-23 Budget date 

Parliament’s sitting schedule for 2022 has now been approved by both houses. 

According to the schedule, Parliament will resume on 8 February and the 2022-23 Budget will be delivered on Tuesday 29 March. 




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

and other regulatory announcements relevant to superannuation.

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