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The Your Future, Your Super legislation, which delivers the most significant and widely-opposed changes to superannuation since the super system started, was passed by the Senate with Government amendments.
A number of key Government amendments were made to the Your Future, Your Super legislation including the removal of the controversial section 52 (2) (c) changes that would have allowed the Government, by regulation, to determine what expenditure or investment by super funds was and wasn't in the members best financial interests.
The amendments to the Bill also delay the application of the single default account amendments (stapling) so that it applies to employees commencing employment on or after 1 November 2021.
The other measures in the Bill, performance testing and Best Financial Interests Duty, remain with a commencement date of 1 July 2021.
Other amendments to the Bill were moved by Senator Rex Patrick and the ALP but they were not passed.
The Bill passed (with amendments) 34 votes to 30 and will now return to the House Of Representatives
The Senate has also passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (More Flexible Superannuation) Bill 2020 and the Treasury Laws Amendment (Self Managed Superannuation Funds) Bill 2020.
More Flexible Superannuation Bill
The Bill extends the bring forward rule by enabling individuals aged 65 and 66 to make up to three years of non-concessional contributions under the current rule and applies to non‑concessional contributions made on or after 1 July 2020.
The government supported two amendments to the Bill put forward by Senator Hanson. These amendments would allow for COVID-19 early release payments to be re-contributed (without a deduction) and for the ATO to make written determinations on excess concessional contributions.
The Bill will commence on 1 July or 1 October (depending on when the Bill receives the Royal Assent).
Self Managed Superannuation Funds Bill
The Bill will increase the maximum number of members for SMSFs and small APRA funds from four to six. The opposition attempted to move amendments on the Bill but were unsuccessful.
APRA has gone live today with the test environment for the APRA Connect new data collection solution.
The test environment is available for users to become familiar with APRA Connect and trial submission of data for industries with new collections before they need to submit in the APRA Connect product environment from 13 September 2021.
Taxonomy artefacts and additional technical information have been published for SDT collections and PHI HRS 605 to help entities prepare data and trial submission on APRA Connect test environment.
A webinar held on 10 June provided entities with an overview of available information and support and included a demonstration of APRA Connect.
APRA has revealed that fewer than one in 50 Choice investment options will be initially covered by its expanded heatmap.
In a presentation to industry stakeholders earlier this month, APRA said only 788 of the estimated 40,000 investment options – fewer than one in fifty - will be covered by the first version of the Choice heatmap due for release later this year. The extent of products and investment options covered in the heatmap aligns with the Government’s proposed Your Future, Your Super legislation, where the carve-outs for performance testing Choice products amounts to more than one third of member savings in APRA-regulated funds, including those in products identified by the Productivity Commission as worst performing.
More women are working for listed and unlisted fund managers than ever before, but the historically male-dominated investment industry still has much work to do to improve gender diversity, new HESTA research reveals.
Survey responses from 60 of HESTA’s investment partners found the proportion of women in investment management roles at an aggregate level had improved from 17% in 2018 to 22% in 2020.
Improvement was predominately from an increase in women working in more junior roles, with unlisted fund managers the main contributor to better gender balance across the Fund’s investment partners.
Women filled 24% of investment team roles at unlisted managers surveyed, up from 17% in 2018.
Listed managers diversity shifted slightly, increasing from 16% to 17% in 2020.
“The overall improvement is encouraging, given the historic under-representation of women in the
funds management industry, HESTA CIO Sonya Sawtell-Rickson said.
“However, there is still much work to be done, particularly if we’re to see more women progress to
senior decision-making roles.”
Ms Sawtell-Rickson said HESTA wants to ensure its members benefitted from diversity in investment teams.
“There is ample evidence of the benefits of diversity in identifying the best talent and building strong, inclusive teams that consider a broad range of perspectives,” she said.
Australian super funds have joined more than 450 global investors to release a new joint global investor statement to all world governments urging a global race-to-the-top on climate policy.
The investor group – which has grown significantly in size since its first statement on climate in 2009 and now collectively manages more than US$41 trillion - warns that laggards will miss out on trillions of dollars in investment if they aim too low and move too slow.
The 2021 Global Investor Statement to Governments on the Climate Crisis calls on governments to raise their climate ambition and implement meaningful policies, or risk missing out on a massive wave of investment in tackling the climate crisis.
ASIC has released an information sheet (INFO 256) on ongoing fee arrangements to provide greater clarity to financial advisers and advice licensees on their obligations when providing personal advice to retail clients. This follows recent changes to the law that will take effect on 1 July 2021.
INFO 256 answers frequently asked questions about the obligations that apply to fee recipients in relation to ongoing fee arrangements, fee disclosure statements (FDSs), and ongoing fee consents.
In developing this guidance, ASIC has taken into account the financial advice industry’s response to recent ASIC consultations, including Consultation Paper 332 Promoting access to affordable advice for consumers (CP 332). INFO 256 will replace Regulatory Guide 245 Fee disclosure statements, which will be withdrawn.
ASIC has also released consequential amendments to RG 175 Licensing: Financial Product Advisers-Conduct and Disclosure ( RG 175). The updated RG 175 reflects new advice obligations introduced into the Corporations Act 2001. It includes an example of the lack of independence disclosure statement to help advisers understand the requirements in ASIC Corporations (Disclosure of Lack of Independence) Instrument 2021/125).
Stay up-to-date on the current status of superannuation Bills currently before Parliament here.