Superannuation Alert - 13.08.15

Financial Services eBulletin - 13 August 2015

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

  • On 5 August 2015, ASIC released its enforcement report for the period 1 January 2015 to 30 June 2015. According to ASIC's media release, "the report outlines some important cases and decisions during the first half of 2015 and highlights some of ASIC’s ongoing enforcement priorities, including tackling poor culture, poor conduct in the retail margin FX trading industry and illegal phoenix activity".

  • On 6 August 2015, the ATO provided an update on its fund validation service (FVS), which is ATO's suite of services supporting the SuperStream data and payment standard.

  • On 7 August 2015, APRA released Issue 1 of 2015 of the publication Insight which provides an overview of the financial position and performance of the superannuation industry in 2014, an overview of APRA's thematic review into the superannuation industry's implementation of Prudential Standard SPS 521 Conflicts of Interest (SPS 521), and a thematic review into the superannuation industry's implementation of Prudential Standard SPS 250 Insurance in Superannuation (SPS 250). APRA noted that the superannuation industry assets increased over 2014 due to good investment performance and steady net contributions and that the focus of RSE licensees over the year continued to be on implementing new prudential and reporting standards and other elements of the SuperStream reforms. APRA stated that its supervisory efforts will continue to be focussed on the effective implementation by industry of recent reforms. APRA identified that many RSE licensees still have to undertake additional measures to meet the requirements SPS 521 and that, although there are signs that the industry has made progress towards addressing SPS 250, it would take a few years before it could determine whether the actions taken by the superannuation and life insurance industries are sufficient to achieve sustainable insurance arrangements.

  • On 7 August 2015, the ATO issued ATO ID 2015/23 Superannuation: Member's benefits in a regulated superannuation fund must be 'cashed' upon death by being paid - mere journal entries insufficient which states that where the benefits of a deceased member of a self-managed superannuation fund are to be paid as a lump sum to the deceased member's spouse, the benefits will not be considered 'cashed' for the purposes of regulation 6.21 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 if the amount of the benefits is simply debited from the deceased member's account and credited to the account of the spouse by way of journal entry in the fund's accounts. ATO ID 2015/23 replaces ATO ID 2015/2 and ATO ID 2015/3.

  • On 7 August 2015, the ATO withdrew ATO ID 2012/16 Superannuation Excess Contributions Tax: concessional contributions - allocation of contributions on the basis that "it contains a view in respect of a provision of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 that does not apply after the 2012-13 income year'.

  • On 7 August 2015, the ATO released the results of its large super fund risk differentiation framework (RDF). The RDF is intended to help large funds assess how well they are meeting their superannuation reporting obligations to the ATO. The ATO found, among other things, that the majority of funds are complying to a high degree with their reporting obligations and 95% of funds have a low likelihood of non-compliance. The ATO stated that the top three areas for reporting improvement were lost members over age 65, lost accounts under $2,000 and timeliness of remittance payment variation advices following the payment of Government super contributions.

 

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