Superannuation Alert - 24.10.12

Financial Services eBulletin - 24 October 2012

The Lander & Rogers Superannuation Alert is a brief overview of new developments in the superannuation industry and is in addition to our Superannuation Update, which analyses the main developments of interest in more detail.

  • On 15 October 2012, the ATO released for public comment the Superannuation Data and Payment Standard and associated Schedules. The draft explanatory statement states that "[the] Standard defines the minimum requirements of certain transactions within the superannuation system including employer contributions, rollovers between superannuation entities and certain reporting obligations for superannuation purposes." It also notes that trustees of superannuation entities will be required to comply with the proposed Standard from 1 July 2013.
  • On 15 October 2012, the Australian Centre for Financial Studies and Mercer released their Global Pension Index report, which compares and assesses national retirement savings systems. Australia's system received a B+, denoting "[a] system that has a sound structure, with many good features, but has some areas for improvement that differentiates it from an A-grade system". Denmark was the only nation in the report to receive an A grade. The report identified some specific strategies which would improve Australia's system, including increasing the pension age with life expectancy and partial payment of retirement benefits by an income stream.
  • On 17 October 2012, APRA updated its FAQs page in relation to MySuper to include questions regarding fees, attestation of scale, and when "in some cases, it may be in the members' best interests to delay moving accrued default amounts to a suitable MySuper product". (See FAQs 25, 26 and 27.)
  • On 17 October 2012, APRA also updated its FAQs page in relation to Prudential Standards and Guidance with 6 new FAQs. Among other things, the new FAQs relate to the timing of APRA’s release of draft prudential practice guides, outsourcing, governance and conflicts of interest. (See FAQs 39 to 44.)
  • On 17 October 2012, the ATO also released draft terms and conditions for the use of its fund member tax file number validation service.
  • On 18 October 2012, the Federal Government released for public consultation an exposure draft and explanatory memorandum of its Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Further Measures) Bill 2012. The draft "contains the fourth tranche of legislation for the Government’s Stronger Super (MySuper and governance) reforms." Among other things, the Bill makes amendments relating to: "the use of specific service providers; infringement notices; trustees providing reasons for their decisions; an increase in the time limit for members to lodge complaints with the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal". Interested parties can make submissions on the draft Bill until Friday 2 November 2012.

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.

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