Superannuation Alert 3.12.14

Financial Services eBulletin - 3 December 2014

The Lander & Rogers Superannuation Alert is a brief overview of new developments in the superannuation industry.

  • On 24 November 2014, the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) has made available its Quarterly Bulletin (Issue No 77) for the September 2014 quarter. The report outlines that a new brochure regarding which remedies a Tribunal can and cannot award has been issued and notes that the Tribunal cannot give a remedy if there has been, by a superannuation provider's decision or conduct, no adverse practical outcome or consequences.

  • On 26 November 2014, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal upheld a former ruling in Re Hope and FCT [2014] AATA 877. The facts concerned contributions which had been made through a clearing house system on 27 June 2008, but which were not received by the relevant funds until 3 and 4 July 2008, resulting in excess contributions tax assessments for the 2009 year. It was found that the assessments were 'made' in the 2009 year. It was also found that there were no 'special circumstances' pursuant to section 292-465(3)(a) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 that would allow for a reallocation.

  • On 27 November 2014, the Treasury made available Exposure Draft - Corporations Amendment (Register of Relevant Providers) Regulation 2014, Draft Explanatory Statement and Consultation Note. The Draft Regulations reflect recommendations of the 2014 Senate Economic References Committee Report into the performance of ASIC and allow ASIC to establish and maintain a public register of financial advisors.

  • On 27 November 2014, APRA wrote to all RSE licensees regarding its discussion paper on proposed changes to its superannuation statistical publications and confidentiality of superannuation data submitted to APRA. The letter discusses changes it has made and will make to its Quarterly Superannuation Performance Statistics publication and Quarterly MySuper Statistics report and outlines APRA's aims regarding data confidentiality and the publication of statistics. APRA also made available its Interim Quarterly MySuper Statistics - September 2014 report which includes data for all MySuper products.

  • On 28 November 2014, the Senate passed a motion by Minister for Finance Senator Cormann that sought approval for the reinstatement of parts of Corporations Amendment (Streamlining Future of Financial Advice) Regulations 2014. In a media release on 26 November 2014, Mr Cormann stated that the federal Government and the Opposition had agreed to produce a revised regulation before the end of the year "to progress the broadly supported elements of the disallowed FOFA Regulations". The new regulation will include amendments to: 
    • "the grandfathering provisions that will address unintended consequences, and facilitate competition in the financial advice industry, by enabling advisers to move licensees with their clients whilst continuing to receive grandfathered remuneration";

    • "the training and education provisions that specify that benefits in relation to education and training that relate to conducting a financial services business are not conflicted remuneration";

    • "the stamping fee provisions that clarify its application to capital raising activities and broaden its application to include investment entities"; 

    • "the accountants’ certificate renewal period to provide that the extended two year renewal period also applies in relation to FOFA"; and

    • "the brokerage-related provisions of FOFA to extend the provisions to products traded on the ASX24".
  • On 28 November 2014, APRA Chairman, Wayne Byres, made an opening statement to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics. Mr Byres noted that in 2015, "APRA will assess the superannuation industry's progress in… key areas… such as investment governance" and will "expect trustees to take a robust, rigorous and wide-ranging approach to" assessing whether their members of their MySuper products are doing well compared to those in other MySuper products. He did however state that APRA's "thematic reviews on conflicts of interest management and insurance risk management suggest that further work is needed in a range of areas to meet the heightened expectations set by the prudential standards". 

  • On 28 November 2014, ASIC announced a "joint industry project to develop innovative, digital financial product disclosure that aims to boost investors' understanding of financial products." ASIC will initially work with "providers AMP and Vanguard to develop and user-test a short, online 'key facts' sheet and a self-assessment tool to guide investor understanding". Preliminary results are expected by mid-2015.

Further information

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