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ASFA in Focus November 2020

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

Policy update

Glen McCrea, ASFA Deputy CEO and Chief Policy Officer, provides a policy update:

Government and regulator interaction

As the Retirement Income Review report was publicly released on 20 November, we published a media release and are currently delving into the details of the 474-page report.

The Treasurer has introduced into Parliament a Bill to implement a raft of Royal Commission recommendations. It’s pleasing to see that the Bill includes a number of changes that we suggested in our submissions to Treasury in February, including:

  • inclusion of an example in the explanatory memorandum that considers education seminars held in the workplace by RSE licensees as part of the no hawking measures
  • further clarity in what is considered an ‘enforceable code provision’
  • under the breach reporting provisions, investigations conducted will only need to be reported to ASIC if the investigation continues for more than 30 days.

We have also sent a letter, signed by member CIOs, to Government expressing concerns about the unintended consequences for super fund investment arising from the benchmarking methodology contained in the ‘Your Super, Your Future’ reforms.

Research and submissions

We commissioned Utting Research to conduct an online survey of Australian superannuation account holders to better understand their views on the Superannuation Guarantee (SG), ESG factors and retirement lifestyle expectations. Some of the key findings of the survey include:

  • 75% of respondents support the SG increasing to 12% as scheduled
  • 75% of respondents stated they would struggle to live comfortably on the Age Pension
  • the majority of respondents approve of superannuation funds being active on ESG issues.

During November we also provided two submissions to APRA in relation to their Superannuation Data Transformation project: one on topic papers 4, 5 and 6 and a second on topic paper 7. These submissions suggest that, overall, all changes to data reporting should undergo a cost/benefit analysis and ensure that the data collected is not duplicated elsewhere.

Media

Our survey findings were featured in articles in The Daily Telegraph, The Australian and Canberra Times. The survey findings were also broadcast on radio, Sky News and Channel 9 news.

We continue to provide feedback on the Budget 2020-21 ‘Your Future, Your Super’ reforms to media enquiries from outlets like The Australian.

Following discussion around the public release of the Retirement Income Review (RIR) report, we published a media release calling for the Government to tackle women’s inequality in superannuation directly. More broadly, we provided comments on the RIR report to The Australian Financial Review and The Australian.

Other relevant topics we provided media commentary on include lost and unclaimed super, APRA’s remuneration prudential standard and ASFA’s Retirement Standard.

Events and Learning

Don’t miss our ASFA Briefing: APRA Heatmap event on 17 December, where Helen Rowell, Deputy Chair APRA, will discuss with Glen McCrea the 2020 MySuper Product Heatmap.

We are also hosting a briefing event on insurance on 8 December, where featured speakers from the industry will discuss how funds can navigate current uncertainty and shape a new course for their insurance offerings.

During December we’re running a Super Industry Update virtual workshop and a virtual workshop on RG 146. Our new online CPD solution for super trustees to satisfy APRA’s ‘fit and proper’ obligations can be started at any time.

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