Superannuation governance changes

Treasury has released for consultation an Exposure Draft of the Treasury Legislation Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation) Bill 2017.

The legislation will amend the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, the Corporations Act 2001, and the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001.

The Bill includes measures that:

  • Make superannuation providers more accountable to consumers through the introduction of annual member meetings  to discuss the key aspects of the fund and provide members with a forum to ask questions about all areas of the fund’s performance and operations.
  • Require funds to report and publish annually more transparent information on how their fund is being managed, including information on how the fund sets its fees and the way it spends members’  money.
  •  Strengthen the obligation on superannuation trustees to consider the appropriateness of their MySuper product offering. Trustees will be required to assess on an annual basis, whether the outcomes that are being delivered are promoting the financial interests of their MySuper members.
  • Give APRA the power to intervene at an early stage to take preventive and corrective action if it has prudential concerns about a fund or if a fund is not acting in the best interests of members.
  • Give APRA greater capacity to refuse or cancel a MySuper authorisation where it believes a licensee will fail to meet its obligations.
  • Require APRA approval before transferring ownership or control of registrable superannuation entity (RSE) to operate a fund.
  • Will make directors of superannuation funds who breach their duties to members subject to civil and criminal penalties similar to the penalty regime that applies to directors of managed investment schemes.
  • Enable APRA to gather more information on the operational and managerial expenses of RSE’s.

The package does not make any changes to the taxation treatment of members’ superannuation.

The Government has also asked APRA to investigate making it easier for consumers to opt-out of automatic life and disability insurance policies provided through superannuation.

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