AIST Policy News - 2 March 2018

AIST Policy News - 2 March 2018


Profit-to-member assets soar past $1 trillion milestone

Stellar returns and increased market share have pushed the assets of the profit-to-member sector to well past $1 trillion, according to the latest APRA data.

The latest figures show that industry funds’ assets have surged 18 per cent to $589.8 billion in the year to December 31, 2017, up 79 per cent on 2016.

By contrast, retail super funds recorded a 7.7 per cent growth in assets during the same period.

Within the profit-to-member sector – which includes the assets of industry funds, public-sector funds and corporate funds – total assets soared to more than $1.2 trillion. The largest increase in recent years was in public sector assets. Over the past two years these assets jumped from $344.7 billion (December 2015) to $577.5 billion in December 2017 (including exempt schemes) though a large part of this increase can be explained by these funds adopting a new accounting standard.

Overall, the total assets of Australia’s super sector now sit at $2.6 trillion.


APRA seeks industry feedback on new data collection

APRA has commenced an engagement process with the super industry to determine the most appropriate design for its new data collection process and ensure it is easily implemented.

In a letter to funds earlier this week, APRA has urged the industry get involved, noting it will hold multiple sessions with stakeholders in March and April.

In addition to written consultation, APRA has scheduled an industry webinar for Friday 16 March from 10.00 – 11.30 AM. Although this is the final day of CMSF, APRA have indicated that they are likely to reschedule another webinar for Monday 19 March, also at 10 AM. APRA may be contacted in relation to this, or any other matter related to this consultation at newdatacollectionsolution@apra.gov.au .

Further information can be found at the Data Collection Solution webpage, where a paper titled ‘Key Items for Stakeholder Consideration’ is located alongside information on contacting APRA and subscribing for updates.


Regulations to support early release of superannuation

Treasury has released exposure draft regulations to support the proposal to transfer the role of assessing compassionate grounds applications from the Department of Human Services (DHS) to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The regulations support the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 1) Bill 2018 which is currently before parliament and provides for the ATO to assess compassionate ground release applications, rather than the DHS.

AIST will be preparing submission and are interested in your views, if you would like to comment please contact Jake Sims at jsims@aist.asn.au or on (03) 8677 3855 byMonday 19 March 2018.


Govt appoints AFCA chair and releases timeline

The Government has announced the appointment of Helen Coonan as the inaugural chair of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), which is now set to be operational by 1 November 2018.

Ms Helen Coonan is a former senator for the Liberal Party of Australia and is currently a director of Crown Resorts Limited. She will be appointed as AFCA’s inaugural chair once the scheme is authorized later this year, at which time the Government will also appoint a minority of the AFCA board.

The AFCA Transition Team, chaired by Dr Malcom Eedy, will continue to work through any outstanding issues ahead of the November start date. During the transition phase:

  • The Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) will continue to be the appropriate resolution service for superannuation related complaints until AFCA commences;
  • The SCT will commence winding down operations, but will require additional funding to resolve the 1,700 disputes before it.
  • In March ASIC will commence industry consultation on their proposed AFCA oversight powers, and the new internal dispute resolution (IDR) standards that funds will be required to comply with.

For further details, please contact Jake Sims, policy and regulatory analyst, at jsims@aist.asn.au or on (03) 8677 3855.