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The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has welcomed the announcement by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) that it will begin collecting data on choice superannuation products.
This will be the first time that data on choice superannuation products has been collected and published by the regulator.
Choice super products have been subject to less scrutiny compared to default MySuper products, and many choice products, particularly those provided by the banks and other for-profit providers, perform poorly compared to MySuper products.
AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck says APRA’s announcement is an important step in the right direction of ensuring high standards for all super products, not just default MySuper funds.
“For too long choice super products have been subject to less scrutiny because of lack of data.”
“There are more than 40,000 choice super products available and the regulator has not been able to ensure they deliver good member outcomes because the regulator doesn’t have product-level data on their fees or performance.”
“Lesser scrutiny of choice products means members who leave the protection of the default super system have too often been left at sea, with no way of comparing the fees or performance of the choice product”
In their recent review of superannuation, the Productivity Commission used data from private ratings agencies which found that choice products have a large tail of relatively low return options compared to MySuper and that retail (for-profit) choice options account for the tail of high-fee super funds. This points to the need for choice products to be regulated like MySuper products
AIST has advocated strongly over many years for APRA to collect and publish choice product data.
“We are pleased that APRA have listened to our calls for the need to collect and publish data on choice products so we can be sure that for-profit providers aren’t hiding behind lack of data to avoid regulation,” Ms Scheerlinck said.
“We look forward to APRA addressing any underperformance identified through this enhanced data collection.”
Media enquiries: Janet de Silva 0448 000 499