Superannuation regulation update

This note summarises superannuation regulation changes announced in the last month.

Refusal of application for AFS licensing relief for digital advice tool
ASIC has reported that it has refused to grant relief from the requirement to hold an AFS licence for the development and use of a digital advice (also known as robo-advice or automated advice) tool. The application was made by an entity developing a tool for use by superannuation fund trustees on their websites, to provide consumers with automated personal advice through a retirement income calculator. ASIC considered that the calculator constituted providing financial product advice that was personal advice.

Generic calculators

ASIC Corporations (Generic Calculators) Instrument 2016/207 was updated on 23 December 2016 to include an exemption for superannuation and retirement calculators until 1 July 2018 provided it discloses whether or not inflation is taken into account.

Superannuation reform package – regulations

The Government has released for public consultation a further tranche of draft regulations and associated explanatory material relating to the superannuation reform package.

The draft regulations relate to:
• Prescribing the subsidiary objectives of the superannuation system
• Defining total superannuation balances
• Release authorities
• Lowering the annual non-concessional cap
• Improving access to tax deductions for personal contributions
• Implementing the transfer balance cap

ASIC reporting requirements

ASIC has further deferred the operation of section 29QC of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 until 1 January 2019.

This is to allow sufficient time for the Choice product dashboard requirements to be settled and implemented.

Section 29QC was introduced as part of the Stronger Super requirements. The section requires that if a trustee provides information to APRA under a reporting standard and the trustee gives the same or equivalent information to another person, or on a website, then the trustee must ensure that this information is calculated in the same way as the information given to APRA.

The purpose of this section was to improve the comparability about superannuation products.

ASIC intends to issue a further instrument, as well as providing guidance, about the application of s29QC in 2018.

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