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Stay up-to-date with the issues affecting super.
Fees, returns, remuneration, mergers, fund expenditure and the New Daily were among a broad range of superannuation issues under the spotlight at today’s hearing of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics into banking, superannuation and other financial services.
Six AIST member funds along with three other funds appeared before the hearing, the seventh hearing to focus on superannuation since the Committee was formed.
The Committee heard from AustralianSuper, Cbus, Aware Super, Equity (Zurich Master Super Fund), Fiducian, Prime Super, Maritime Super and TWUSuper.
AIST will be releasing an overview of the hearings at today’s end.
New Annual Member Meeting (AMM) requirements will take effect this financial year for many funds if the regulations are registered before 30 June 2022.
Treasury has confirmed with AIST that regulations relating to the new requirements will take effect from the day after they are registered.
Assuming the final regulations are made on or before 30 June 2022, funds that report on a financial year basis will need to send the notice complying with the new requirements contained in the Regulations in respect of the 2021-22 income year.
Superannuation complaints to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority fell 31 per cent in the financial year to 2020-21, after a jump the prior year when the government allowed the early release of super at the start of COVID.
Super complaints during the period totalled 3,640, accounting for 7% of all complaints to AFCA. One third of these complaints were resolved at registration and 65% were resolved by agreement or in favour of the complainant.
Claims handling complaints was the top reason for complaints with service quality and denied claims equal second. In total, Australians in dispute with banks, insurers, super funds, investment firms and financial advisers lodged more than 70,000 complaints. This led to more than $240 million in compensation and refunds after seeking AFCA’s help, as well as outcomes such as fee waivers, debt forgiveness and apologies.
Overall, however, financial complaints were well down on the previous year with complaints involving financial difficulty down nearly 40 per cent from the numbers seen in the previous year.
The most complained about product in 2020-21 was credit cards, accounting for 14 per cent of all complaints, followed by home loans (9 per cent) and personal transaction accounts (8 per cent).
The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee is holding an inquiry into the adequacy and efficacy of Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regime.
The Committee plans to shortly release a discussion paper after which AIST will hold a forum for member funds to inform our submission.
AIST is keen to explore ways in which the current AML/CMF regime may be made more efficient and effective. Please contact David Haynes if you would like to be involved in this discussion.
The Institute of Internal Auditors-Australia (IIA-Australia) this week released a 40-page guide ‘Auditing risk culture - A practical guide’ to help internal auditors, senior management, board audit committees, and other assurance providers in all sectors of the economy.
The guide was authored by Macquarie University Professor Elizabeth Sheedy, Kiel Advisory Group Managing Director Elizabeth Arzadon, and QSuper’s Head of Internal Audit Regardt Du Preez.
The guide outlines ten practical steps to auditing risk culture, starting with a review of the current risk culture audit approach and the internal auditor’s role, to delivering an effective audit program, monitoring, and reviewing.
AIST has maintained a direct dialogue with APRA about important questions on the implementation of APRA’s new data reporting requirements.
A previous meeting of the AIST working group with APRA about investment and expense reporting is now being followed up with a further meeting about expense reporting on Monday. We hope APRA will soon release a worked example that addresses various expense reporting issues that AIST and our member funds have raised.
AIST is continuing to hold forums for member funds about developments in Super Data Transformation, and use these as the basis for two-way engagement with APRA and other stakeholders (such as custodians).
For further information contact AIST Senior Manager, Policy, David Haynes at email@example.com.
APRA has published additional FAQs on meeting the Reporting Standards for Phase 1 of the Superannuation Data Transformation.
APRA is releasing FAQs and worked examples to clarify reporting issues raised by RSE
licensees and to help them meet their reporting obligations ahead of the first collection of data on 30 September 2021.
APRA has also updated the APRA Connect taxonomy artefacts to include simple, plain English
business descriptions for validation rules.
The APRA Connect test environment is now available for familiarisation and to practice data preparation and submission.
The Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) board has appointed Rebecca Mikula-Wright as Chief Executive Officer of the organisation.
Ms Mikula-Wright steps into the role with over 20 years' experience in climate change, sustainability and investment banking in Hong Kong, Europe and Australia. She has been the Executive Director of the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC) for almost five years and will continue to lead the AIGCC, managing both organisations who share a governance structure.
Stay up-to-date on the current status of superannuation Bills currently before Parliament here.