Superannuation trustees: influencing employers through improper inducements

ASIC has issued Infosheet 241 to give guidance to superannuation trustees in relation to the recently amended section 68A of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 which provides that using improper inducements to influence employers in their choice of default fund is illegal.

Section 68A prohibits a trustee, or its associates, from using goods or services to influence employers to nominate a default superannuation fund for employees, or to encourage employees to choose or retain a particular superannuation fund.

If a court finds that a trustee or its associate has breached these provisions, they may be fined up to 2,400 penalty units (currently $210 each, a total of $504,000).

The information sheet also provides examples that include common scenarios and issues to help trustees and their associates understand their obligations under section 68A.

ASIC’s examples of a breach of section 68A are:

  • Corporate hospitality;
  • Discounted premiums on business insurance policies.

Examples of no breach of section 68A are: 

  • Discounts on administration fees for employees ;
  • Clearing house facilities;
  • Fund update over modest lunch;
  • Free educational seminars relating to the payment of superannuation contributions to a fund.
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