Superannuation Alert 24.03.17

Financial Services eBulletin - 24 March 2017

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

Type Subject matter Source Description
Legislative updates Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 before the House of Representatives Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2017

On 23 March 2017, the Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 (Bill), was read for a second time by the House of Representatives after being introduced and passed by the Senate on 22 March 2017.

This Bill proposes to make changes to the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 to, among other things, provide for the automation of the income stream review process by enabling the Department of Human Services to require superannuation fund trustees and other providers of income streams to electronically report information in respect of income support recipients to Centrelink (see Schedule 11 of the Bill).  This automated process would replace the current voluntary electronic reporting and paper-based reporting.

Treasury updates Model of Australian Retirement Incomes and Assets  Treasury Working Paper 2017-02

On 17 March 2017, the Federal Treasury released Working Paper 2017-02 detailing the development of its new model of Australian retirement incomes and assets.

The Model of Australian Retirement Incomes and Assets (MARIA) is a "long-term dynamic microsimulation of Australia's retirement income system".  MARIA aims to increase the Treasury's ability to "produce detailed modelling of retirement incomes in Australia".Once up and running, MARIA will be able to provide policy makers with entire population projections of:

  • "Age Pension expenditure and take-up;
  • superannuation funds under management; and
  • retirement income adequacy".
ASIC ASIC REP 515 Financial advice: Review of how large institutions oversee their advisers REP 515

On 17 March 2017, ASIC released Report 515 (REP 515) which is the outcome of its review into how large financial advisory companies have dealt with past poor advice and non-compliant advisers.ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell stated in a media release that "ASIC acknowledged the work undertaken by the financial advice institutions to improve their practices…However, there is further work to be done to assist in re-building consumer trust and confidence in the financial advice industry".

REP 515 provides an update on actions taken by ASIC against certain advisers who have raised serious compliance concerns, including the progress made by institutions in developing review and remediation programs.  ASIC also highlights a number of areas where significant improvements are required, such as a failure to notify the regulator about serious non-compliance concerns regarding adviser conduct.

Case law update Special leave refused in Beck v Commonwealth Bank Officers Superannuation Corporations Pty Limited & Ors High Court Special Leave 2017 On 10 March 2017, the High Court of Australia refused to grant special leave to the applicant, Mr Beck, to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Commonwealth Bank Officers Superannuation Corporation Pty Ltd & Anor v Beck & Anor [2016] NSWCA 218, which dealt with a number of issues relating to superannuation law, including the meaning of the term 'accrued benefits'.  This brings an end to the long-running dispute between Mr Beck and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the trustee of the Commonwealth Bank Officers Superannuation Fund.
APRA No relevant items this week.


Further information

All information on this site is of a general nature only and is not intended to be relied upon as, nor to be a substitute for, specific legal professional advice. No responsibility for the loss occasioned to any person acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material published can be accepted.