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Stay up-to-date with the issues affecting super.
Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response) Bill 2020 introduced to Parliament
APRA releases revised remuneration standard for consultation
ASIC’s focus in superannuation 2020-2021
AIST to convene meeting on member outcomes assessments
Call to provide feedback on ATO services
COVID early release update
WA Super Splitting law passes the House of Representatives
Call for submission on phase 2 of Fintech investigation
Counting COVID’s cost in dollars and work hours
AIST’s weekly update on the status of legislation
This morning, the Government introduced the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response) Bill 2020 into the House of Representatives.
The purpose of this omnibus Bill is to implement further recommendations of the Financial Services Royal Commission and additional commitments the Government has made to improve consumer protections and strengthen financial regulators.
These recommendations are:
The Bill does not however seek to implement the recommendations for the prohibition on deducting advice fees for MySuper (recommendation 3.2) or the limitations on deducting advice fees from Choice and MySuper accounts (recommendation 3.3).
AIST understands that a further Bill relating to other Financial Services Royal Commission recommendations may be introduced by the Government by the end of the year.
AIST will be undertaking an analysis of this legislation, including changes from the consultation drafts released by Treasury prior to the pandemic. We will also keep you abreast on developments in relation to the legislation.
The new draft standard responds to industry feedback and APRA says it sets robust minimum standards for APRA-regulated entities and addresses the relevant Royal Commission recommendations.
There are a number of revisions to draft Prudential Standard CPS 511 Remuneration (revised CPS 511). The key revisions for SFIs include:
Submissions are due by 12 February 2021
ASIC says it is committed to progressing its core priorities to address longer-term consumer harms in the regulatory environment. To achieve its vision over the longer term, a wide range of regulatory work will progress in parallel to its pandemic responses, including work to implement the recommendations of the Financial Services Royal Commission (FSRC).
Areas of continued focus include:
AIST is holding a special Community of Interest meeting to discuss the member outcomes assessment that funds need to undertake by the end of February, next year.
This meeting – which is free and open to all AIST members – will be held from 10.30 to 12 pm on 18 November.
As outlined in yesterday’s AIST policy alert, APRA has provided responses to 11 Frequently Asked Questions on the member outcomes assessments, including how the assessments will apply to Choice and lifecycle products.
The FAQs address common areas of weakness identified from APRA’s targeted review of trail outcomes assessments, which AIST understands involved a small cohort of funds.
APRA has made it clear that it will be seeking to validate the approaches of funds to many of the assessments at product level.
Key responses from the regulator include:
AIST’s event will discuss all the above issues and more. For more information or to register visit website
The ATO is inviting staff and trustee directors of AIST member funds to participate in its twice yearly survey of the super fund community for feedback on how to improve its services.
Several new topics have been included in the Superannuation funds survey, including COVID-19 early release of super, ATO consultation groups and fund income tax. Expected completion time is approximately 10 minutes.
All answers are anonymous (unless you choose to identify yourself at the end of the survey), with responses required by 5pm Tuesday 24 November 2020.
Should you have any problems completing this survey, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. This survey is part of the ATO’s routine research program.
The latest APRA figures for the early release scheme show there were 24,000 applications for week ending 1 November, the same number as the preceding week.
Of this, 16,000 were initial applications and 8,000 were repeat applications.
The total number of initial applications since inception of the scheme is around 3.3 million and repeat applications are 1.3 million.
So far, $34.8 billion in early release has been paid out by super funds since the scheme began.
Western Australian law will be in line with the rest of Australia following the House of Representatives passing the Family Law Amendment (Western Australia De Facto Superannuation Splitting and Bankruptcy) Bill 2020.
Prior to this Bill, which has been sent to the Senate, superannuation could not be split by separating de facto couples in WA.
Instead, as said by Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus, ‘courts in Western Australia are required to assess other assets that may be split between the parties and make adjustments in favour of the party with less superannuation.’
The law will also allow de facto couples with family law and bankruptcy proceedings to have both matters heard concurrently in a single court. Previously, they would have to be heard in two different courts.
The Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology is calling for further submissions in its investigation of long term issues.
Committee Chair, Senator Andrew Bragg, said it is clear Australia needs to take a long term view of tech as a driver of future jobs and economic growth.
He said the committee still considers the broad areas of tax, regulation, capital,
culture and skills, as well as impacts and opportunities in response to COVID-19, are key to maintaining Australia’s competitive position.
The issues paper canvasses how the tax and immigration systems can drive more
capital and skills to Australia. Submissions are due by 11 December 2020
Researchers at the ANU estimate the average Australian worker lost 167 hours of work worth more than $5,000 each from the start of March to the end of October due to COVID-19.
They estimate the loss of production to the economy to be around $47 billion, or 1.3 billion hours.
The university has been running a longitudinal study since before COVID-19 in February.
Among its findings:
The current status of superannuation Bills currently before Parliament can be found here.
12 November 2020