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ASFA in Focus June 2021

Policy update | Government and regulator interaction | Research and submissions | Media | Events and Learning

Policy update

ASFA Policy provides a policy update:

Government and regulator interaction

We raised our members’ ongoing concerns in a joint APRA and ASIC roundtable about sections 56 and 57 of the SIS Act. Sections 56 and 57 prohibit the trustee and directors from being indemnified from the assets of the fund for any penalties charged against them. As more penalties are being introduced as part of, for example, the Government’s implementation of the Banking Royal Commission recommendations, uncertainty remains around how it will practically play out for the industry. We will continue discussing with ASIC and APRA our members’ concerns on this matter.

Reflecting member feedback, we have provided ASIC with a written submission outlining reasons why superannuation clearing houses should be made exempt from the upcoming design and distribution obligations (DDO) regulatory regime.

Separately to preparing a submission in response to Treasury’s consultation on the adequacy of the current regulatory regime for proxy advice, we also met with Treasury representatives in May to provide some preliminary feedback on their consultation paper.

We also sought, and received, clarification from Treasury about a 2021-22 Budget measure relating to legacy retirement product conversions. Treasury confirmed that the measure:

  • extends to non-SMSF products, and
  • covers products that are market-linked, life-expectancy and lifetime products that first commenced before 20 September 2007 from any provider.

Our ongoing discussion with ASIC about the implementation of RG 271 Internal Dispute Resolution continued this month as we continue to try to iron out members’ concerns before RG 271 comes into effect on 5 October 2021.

We will continue facilitating dialogue between our members and the ATO as the ATO, and the industry, implements SuperStream Rollover Version 3. These discussions about the practical challenges in implementation and onboarding is a valuable opportunity to share lessons learned.

Research and submissions

As mentioned in last month’s ASFA in Focus, Treasury has been consulting on the Exposure Draft Regulations and Explanatory Statement for the Government’s Your Future, Your Super (YFYS) package. Some of the concerns our submission in response raised were:

  • about the commencement date not providing sufficient time for implementation
  • how ‘underperformance’ is identified
  • the performance benchmark test not being a reviewable decision
  • the need for a two-stage approach to assessing performance
  • the need to extend CGT rollover relief to the transfer of members and assets from one fund to another.

Media

Our Budget 2021-22 commentary made an appearance in the Financial Standard, Super Review, Bloomberg, ABC and Yahoo!.

ASFA’s Retirement Standard has made multiple media appearances in May in the Daily Mail, Courier Mail, 3AW (Melbourne radio) and 5AA (Adelaide radio).

Our ‘Superannuation account balances by age and gender’ research paper was also mentioned in an article in The Age.

Events and Learning

Our Spotlight on Insurance event on Thursday 3 June will look at the critical issues currently facing group insurance. Some topics that will be covered at the event include digitisation, automation, machine learning and the rising mental health crisis.

Also coming up is the NSW State Forum on Thursday 24 June. Join us for a day filled with leading industry speakers, presentations and networking opportunities to keep you up to speed with current superannuation trends and predictions.

During the month of June we’re delivering the following learning workshops:

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