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Inside track: Superannuation, Funds Management & Financial Services

03 November 2020

#Superannuation, Funds Management & Financial Services

Inside track: Superannuation, Funds Management & Financial Services

In the media

Super performance test needs to define ‘underperformance’
The Government’s superannuation performance test proposal needs to define ‘underperformance’ or it could have unintended consequences and undermine the super system, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia believes ( 29 October 2020).  More...

Super performance test a ‘blunt single-issue measure’
Australian superannuation funds have been warned of the risks of tilting equity portfolios to maximise the benefits of franking credits. Superannuation funds that fail the Government’s proposed investment performance test will be unable to turn their eight-year performance around in one year, according to Rice Warner (29 October 2020). More...

ASIC explains no action position on super advice
The ASIC has revealed it did not take action against superannuation funds which it identified as having delivered defective advice but, instead, contacted them an asked them to fix the problem and then to confirm they had done so (27 October 2020).  More...

Wilson accuses fund execs of insider trading
Economics committee chair Tim Wilson has accused a number of super fund executives and trustees of using insider information to benefit at the height of the COVID-19 crisis (26 October 2020). More...

ASIC confirms focus on advice which is 'limited and affordable'
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has signalled it believes a key objective in making advice more attractive to consumers is the provision of advice which is “limited and affordable” (23 October 2020).   More...

ISA: Super tests welcome but must be a lot more robust
The government plans to introduce performance tests to weed out the duds and staple people to a fund forever, unless they choose a different one. Without refinements to make it more robust, the government's performance test could end up costing many people hundreds of thousands of dollars from their retirement (21 October 2020). More...

Economics committee to grill regulators
The standing committee on economics has called ASIC, APRA, and the ACCC for its first post-budget hearing to ensure the regulators are keeping a close watch on Australia’s financial system (21 October 2020).  More...

Imminent Hayne reform has major ramifications for affordability of financial advice and the future of financial planning
The FPA has warned that the establishment of a single disciplinary body must be used to reduce red tape and untangle an unreasonably complex regulatory framework that is stifling the financial planning profession and driving up the cost of advice (21 October 2020).  More...

Government action needed to avoid lower retirement living standards
The release of the 2020 Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index, which saw Australia’s super system record a drop in ranking across two key categories, highlights the need for new policy measures and a commitment from the Government to the legislated timeline to increase the super compulsory rate to 12%, the AIST  said (20 October 2020). More...

FSC Media Release: Future of advice report
The Financial Services Council has launched a research report by Rice Warner which offers some radical ideas for restructuring the model for financial advice which will start a policy debate on how to make advice more affordable and accessible (21 October 2020).  More...

Australia slips in global pension index
Australia’s superannuation system has dropped by one place in its global pension ranking in Mercer’s 2020 index, with the study finding it still has a number of improvements to make (20 October 2020).  More...

Time’s up: AFCA set to end responses extension
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority has warned that a temporary time extension for handling complaints during the COVID-19 pandemic is set to come to an end (19 October 2020).  More...

In practice and courts

ASIC regulatory updates
22/10/2020 INFO 101 ; INFO 103; INFO 104; INFO 105; INFO 109; INFO 126; INFO 128; INFO 140; INFO 146; INFO 185 (reissued)
Information sheets related to consumer credit have been updated to:  reflect current ASIC guidance and information; remove references to transitional arrangements; update penalties information (to account for legislative amendments) and replace references to EDR schemes with AFCA, in INFO 105, clarify our guidance regarding hardship notices and variations.

APRA new frequently asked questions on the Superannuation Data Transformation project
The APRA has published new frequently asked questions (FAQs), which have been added to the Superannuation Data Transformation (SDT) consultation site. The FAQs outline queries on the latest release of topic papers for the SDT project.  The FAQs are available on the APRA website here (27 October 2020). 

APRA: weekly data on the superannuation early release scheme
The APRA has published the latest industry-level and fund-level data on the temporary early release of superannuation scheme. The Early Release Initiative statistics for applications received between 20 April - 18 October 2020 are available on the APRA website here (26 October 2020). 

APRA reminder:  superannuation licensees on upcoming legislative obligations
Registrable superannuation entity licensees are reminded of two key regulatory requirements - to undertake a Business Performance Review by 31 December 2020, and an outcomes assessment by 28 February 2021. View the letter here

AFCA current matters
Union Standard International Group Pty Ltd (Updated October 2020 )
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Great Southern loans (Updated October 2020 )

ASIC Corporations, Superannuation and Credit (Amendment) Instrument
Amends the ASIC Corporations and Credit (Internal Dispute Resolution— Transitional) Instrument 2019/965 to preserve ASIC's existing internal dispute resolution policy in relation to complaints received by financial firms before 5 October 2021. More...


Burnell and Australian Securities and Investments Commission [2020] AATA 4186
CORPORATIONS ACT – financial services – licensing – authorised representative – banning order – arranging insurance contracts without an Australian Financial Services Licence and while not an authorised representative of a Australian Financial Services Licence holder involvement in non-compliance with a financial services law – reason to believe that Applicant is likely to contravene or likely to become involved in a contravention of a financial services law – decision affirmed
Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth); Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth). Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

Australian Securities and Investments Commission v AGM Markets Pty Ltd (in liquidation) (No 4) [2020] FCA 1499
CORPORATIONS – offer of derivative products – contracts for difference – margin foreign exchange contracts – offering to retail investors in Australia – financial product advice – financial services – personal product advice – general product advice – assessment of pecuniary penalties – redress orders – s 1317G of the  Corporations Act 2001  (Cth) – ss 12GBA, 12GNB and 12GNC of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) – penalties imposed – redress orders made

Purcell and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2020] AATA 4235
TAXATION – excess non concessional contributions to  superannuation  – spousal contributions to  superannuation  – associated earnings treated as assessable income – amount of associated earnings – whether calculation of associated earnings was correct – whether proxy rate is a penalty – no power vested in the Commissioner to remit amount calculated as associated earnings – objection decision affirmed – decision under review affirmed




Treasury Laws Amendment (2020 Measures No. 4) Bill 2020
House of Representatives 28 Oct 2020
Includes: Schedule 2 –Transitional provisions relating to the repeal of the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993Schedule 2 to the Bill amends the AFCA Act to facilitate the closure and any transitional arrangements associated with AFCA replacing the SCT.

Act compilation

Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992
27/10/2020 - Act No. 111 of 1992 as amended

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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