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ASIC improves disclosure of unlisted property scheme risks
We have introduced a new disclosure principle and six new disclosure benchmarks for unlisted property schemes to improve investors’ awareness of the risks of investing in these products (28 March 2012)  ASIC improves disclosure of unlisted property scheme risks

Shadow shop results reflect need for higher professional standards - SPAA
The SPAA has called for higher levels of competency in the provision of financial advice following results from the ASIC's shadow shop report. The ASIC shadow shop report showed that only 3 per cent of financial advisers achieved the good quality ranking and this highlights the challenge of raising professional standards across the advice industry (29 March 2012)  More...

Superannuation jargon is a barrier for Australians, a survey found
A Galaxy Research survey of 1,010 Australians aged 25-44, commissioned by Virgin Super, found three in four Australians believed super terminology was a barrier preventing them engaging more actively with their super fund. The research suggests that a move to more consumer friendly terminology would have a positive impact on retirement savings (30 March 2012)  More...

ASIC survey results strengthen need for FOFA reforms
Future of financial advice (FOFA) reforms tabled in Parliament over the past fortnight should mean a better quality of financial advice for investors. Just days after the reforms’ passage, ASIC released its anonymous “shadow shopping” survey of financial planners, and its lacklustre results highlighted the need for improved financial advice (31 March 2012)  More...

ASIC releases first enforcement report
The report outlines categories of gatekeepers against whom ASIC has taken action including financial advisers, responsible entities, credit licensees, market participants, directors, company officers, insolvency practitioners and auditors in 2011 (29 March 2012)  ASIC releases first enforcement report

Bill Shorten stands firm on deal for higher super
Addressing union leaders at the ACTU executive, Mr Shorten maintained the government's position that some workers would have to defer a portion of their annual pay rises over the next seven years to fund the cost of increasing the superannuation contribution from 9 per cent to 12 per cent (29 March 2012)  More...

APRA paper flags more superannuation consolidation
New research released by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) this week has pointed to the benefits of further consolidation within the superannuation industry (27 March 2012)  More...

Trio investors call for ASIC, AFP action
A public meeting of Trio Capital investors has resulted in a call for answers from ASIC and the Australian Federal Police (27 March 2012)  More...

ASIC releases unlisted property benchmarks
ASIC has turned its attention to Australia's unlisted property schemes with the release of a new disclosure principle and six new disclosure benchmarks for the sector. Under the new disclosure requirements, unlisted property schemes must disclose whether they meet the benchmarks (29 March 2012) More...

Government eases up on financial advice reforms
The government has softened its planned shake-up of the financial advice industry, removing a requirement for customers to "opt in" to receiving advice.  Under the proposed amendments, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission will be able to excuse advisers from the opt-in rule if they sign a professional code of conduct by 2015 (22 March 2012)  More...

Super payments to rise under mining tax, says ACCI
The ACCI warns of higher compulsory superannuation payments for employers following  the passage of the mining tax (20 March 2012)  More...

PJC raises MySuper concerns
Members of the Parliamentary Joint Committee have used their MySuper report to address concerns over the numerous tranches of the bill (22 March 2012)  More...

PJC releases MySuper report
The PJC is recommending the government redraft the MySuper Bill to clarify the clause relating to large employers and the provision of tailored MySuper products. These include the MySuper provision be redrafted to clarify that the large employer requirement of 500 or more members of the funds needs to be satisfied upon authorisation of the MySuper product, and at the end of each annual reporting period (21 March 2012)  More...

Working Paper: Effect of fund size on the performance of Australian superannuation funds
Author: APRA
The results of research into the relationship between fund size and the performance of APRA-regulated superannuation funds. (26 March 2012)  More...

Virgin Super jargon buster survey – March 2012
Author: Galaxy Research survey, commissioned by Virgin Super
The study was conducted among 1,010 Australians, aged 25-44 years, Nine out of ten (89%) Australians support a campaign to simplify superannuation terminology, and found three in four Australians said the language used by superannuation funds is very hard to understand (March 2012)  More...

Draft AML/CTF Rules amending Chapter 29 relating to record-keeping obligations 
They exempt electronic files from the record-keeping obligation, if they are created by a reporting entity solely for the purpose of submitting an electronic report to AUSTRAC, as such files duplicate information already held by the reporting entity. A public consultation period is open from 27 March to 23 April 2012.  (27 March 2012)  More...

Draft Modification to section 107 of the AML/CTF Act relating to record-keeping obligations
Specifies that if a reporting entity makes a record of information relating to the provision of a designated service, that record of information must be retained for seven years after the making of the record. This includes closed circuit television footage relating to the provision of a designated service. The Instrument modifies section 107 to reduce the record-keeping requirement from 7 years to 1 year for such footage. A public consultation period is open from 27 March to 23 April 2012.  (27 March 2012)  More...

FOFA Bills passed by lower house
The Corporations Amendment (Future of Financial Advice) Bill 2011 and the Corporations Amendment (Further Future of Financial Advice Measures) Bill 2011 have been passed by the House of Representatives after the Government amended the ‘opt-in’ provision of the first bill by exempting financial advisers bound by an ASIC approved code of conduct which “obviates the need for persons bound by the code to be bound by the opt-in requirement”. Other suggested refinements and deferral of mandatory compliance to 1 July 2013 are yet to be tabled (22 March 2012)


Bills Progress

Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Amendment Bill 2011
Changes to the superannuation guarantee - Schedule 1 to this Bill amends the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 to increase the age of an employee at which the superannuation guarantee (SG) no longer needs to be provided from 70 to 75, and to gradually increase the SG charge percentage from 9 per cent to 12 per cent - 19/03/2012 Passed Senate 


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 endeavor 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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