Your Future, Your Super draft regulations released
The Government has released for consultation exposure draft regulations underpinning Treasury Laws Amendment (Your Future, Your Super) Bill 2021. Consultation will be for four weeks and close on 25 May 2021.
The regulations include
- administration fees in net return calculations for performance assessment
- specific indices for unlisted infrastructure & property
- some flexibility in relation to the Annual Member meeting notice requirements, with funds being able to refer to documents on their website rather than sending out copies by mail
- details on Portfolio Holdings Disclosure
However, a number of areas of major concern to AIST remain unaddressed, in particular that the performance test does not cover all APRA regulated products, that a stapled fund is not required to pass the performance test and that the power for the government to ban super fund investments, even when they are in the members’ best financial interests, remains.
The draft regulations can be found Your Future, Your Super Regulations and associated measures | Treasury.gov.au
AIST will be making a submission on the draft regulations.
Senate Economics Legislation Committee report on YFYS legislation tabled
After being delayed a week, the Senate Economics Legislation Committee report Treasury Laws Amendment (Your Future, Your Super) Bill 2021 has been tabled. The Committee recommends the Bill be passed.
The Senate report released today acknowledged concerns raised by submitters about key elements of the bill, including concerns that super fund members could be stapled to an underperforming fund and that the annual performance test does not apply to all APRA regulated products. Despite this, the Committee recommended the bill be passed. In its dissenting report, Labor did not recommend the bill be passed and instead recommended “that the government review and reconsider the issues raised through this inquiry, and return to Parliament with revised legislation that will actually achieve the intent put forward by the government"
APRA releases FAQs on super data transformation
APRA published a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for registrable superannuation entity (RSE) licensees about the Reporting Standards for Phase 1 of the Superannuation Data Transformation.
The FAQs clarify issues raised by RSE licensees relevant to meeting reporting obligations. APRA intends to release FAQs on a regular schedule in the lead up to the first submission of data under the Reporting Standards on 30 September 2021. Reporting entities and subscribers of updates to the FAQs will be informed by APRA as these occur.
ASIC announces appointment of new Chair and Deputy Chair
ASIC have announced that Joe Longo will be the next ASIC Chair and Sarah Court will be an additional Deputy Chair.
Joe Longo is a senior adviser at law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. He previously spent 17 years at Deutsche Bank and from 1996-2000 was the National Director of Enforcement at ASIC.
Sarah Court is a lawyer and joins from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission where she is a Commissioner and Chairs the Enforcement Committee, Compliance Committee and Legal Committee.
APRA Chair’s speech on climate, risk culture and cyber risk
APRA Chair, Wayne Byers recent speech to the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia highlighted APRA’s broadening supervisory focus. He noted a particular emphasis on the financial risks associated with climate change, cyber, and governance, risk culture, remuneration and accountability (GCRA).
In his speech he noted that many banks, insurers and super fund had worked to ‘lift their games’ in relation to GCRA since the royal commission. Of the three areas of risk (climate change, cyber and GCRA) he highlighted that cyber presents the most difficult prudential threat as it is driven by malicious and adaptive adversaries who are intent on causing damage. He noted “Cyclones and bushfires can be devastating, but they’re not doing it on purpose.”
Mr Byers also alerted industry to a pilot risk culture survey APRA has completed with 10 general insurers. The online survey of 40 questions explores attitudes and behaviours in relation to risk, and willingness and capacity to speak up when things aren’t right. APRA’s ambition is to launch the survey to around 60 institutions across banking, insurance and superannuation industries from the second half of this year.
His full speech can be found here.
ABS releases tax revenue statistics – with large falls in superannuation tax
ABS data on tax revenue for the 2019-20 year shows total taxation revenue collected in Australia fell $8.0 billion (-1.4%) from $560.0 billion in 2018-19 to $552.0 billion in 2019-20.
ABS data shows key contributors to the fall in tax revenue are a decreased in company income tax paid by super funds. This was down $4.3 billion (-39.3%) due to weakness in financial markets during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other drivers of lower tax revenue included a reduction in the amount of GST, payroll tax, gambling tax and personal income tax collected. For further details visit the ABS website.
AIST’s weekly update on the status of legislation
Stay up-to-date on the current status of superannuation Bills currently before Parliament here.