Insurance

Insurance

AIST’s Insurance Policy Position

AIST supports the role that group life insurance plays in providing benefits to Australians who might otherwise be left uninsured.  

Insurance is crucial in ensuring that that fund members and their families aren’t inconvenienced due to death or disability.  AIST promotes the sensible provision of insurance that meets members’ needs and includes:

  • Trustees and insurers working together to tailor insurance offerings to fund members to ensure that benefits are designed to reflect occupational and other relevant demographics;
  • Appropriately crafted death cover to ensure that families who lose a member are able to adjust to life without them;
  • Protection of members’ financial wellbeing if their working lives are threatened by illness or injury;
  • Assisting with members’ financial commitments if unable to work; and
  • The provision of transparent and effective communication and disclosure to ensure that members expectations are compatible with trustees’ accountability.

Responsible insurance reduces the risks to retirement savings faced by members due to loss of income.  AIST supports the offering of sustainable and sensibly designed benefits that provides real value to members and their families, whilst acknowledging the impact on benefits in retirement of premium and other insurance-related costs.

AIST is also a member of the Insurance in Superannuation Working Group (ISWG). You can find out more about the ISWG and what we do here.

You can select from our range of publications on this topic below: 

 

3 Jun 2019 - Superannuation policy challenges for refreshed shadow ministry

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) welcomes the announcement of the Federal Opposition’s shadow cabinet ministry, amid a busy time for superannuation policy implementation. AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck said AIST and its member funds were committed to working productively with both sides of government on policies that will improve the retirement outcomes of all Australians.

26 May 2019 - New Coalition government encouraged to commit to 12% super

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) congratulates Jane Hume on her appointment as Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology under the Morrison Government.

21 May 2019 - New research highlights need for Govt agency to develop an online tool to compare super funds

A high level of confusion among members of poorly performing super funds points to the urgent need for a Government-sanctioned online tool to help Australians make more informed choices about their super savings, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees said today.

15 May 2019 - How the two major parties stack up on super and retirement: pre-election score card

The score card highlights that Labor’s policies will have more positive impact on superannuation and the retirement outcomes for most working Australians.

3 May 2019 - Super savings gap ranges from 16% and 39% depending on where you live

New research has identified Western Australia and Queensland as being the states where the superannuation savings gender gap is at its worst.

1 May 2019 - Backdown on banning conflicted financial advice will leave consumers exposed

Thousands of consumers of financial products, including superannuation, will remain exposed to conflicted financial advice if proposed regulations on grandfathered conflicted remuneration get the green light, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees has warned.

14 Apr 2019 - AIST research shows just how poor banking-owned super products are

The Fee and Performance Analysis 2019 by leading superannuation research house SuperRatings, commissioned by AIST, drills down into the differences between fees and returns across the many super products on offer and finds significant disparities between the fees charged by for-profit retail funds and profit-to-member funds.

10 Apr 2019 - Delay on consumer disclosure in super will hurt member retirement outcomes

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has today warned that delays to consumer disclosure requirements will negatively impact on the retirement outcomes of millions of unsuspecting Australians. The warning follows this week’s announcement that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is deferring key consumer disclosure requirements for non-default (Choice) super products for up to four years.

2 Apr 2019 - Modest changes to superannuation won’t help most Australians build their nest eggs

The changes to the rules for voluntary super contributions in the 2019 Federal Budget are good news for older members who can afford to make additional contributions to their superannuation savings, however they will have minimal impact on the retirement outcomes of most Australians, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said tonight.

2 Apr 2019 - Time for a re-think on financial advice - AIST IFS Financial Advice In Super Symposium

Profit-to-member superannuation funds are well-placed to expand their role in providing quality, cost-effective financial advice, delegates attending a Financial Advice in Superannuation Symposium heard today. Speaking at the joint Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) and Industry Fund Services (IFS) symposium in Melbourne, IFS CEO Cath Bowtell noted it was a tumultuous time for financial advisers post-Royal Commission and that many retail advice providers were having to re-evaluate why they provided advice.

18 Mar 2019 - David Noonan named AIST’s Trustee of the Year

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has announced Cbus director David Noonan as the recipient of the AIST Trustee of the Year Award at the Conference of Major Superannuation Funds (CMSF) held on the Gold Coast.

18 Mar 2019 - AIST welcomes new Board directors

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has welcomed a new director to its Board following an election at its 2019 AGM held at AIST conference CMSF. Ros McLennan from Sunsuper was elected as a Trustee elected director and is the only new director to join the board, with David Smith, Naomi Edwards, Louise Du Pre-Alba and Suzette Thurman all received re-election.

14 Mar 2019 - AIST acknowledges Women in Super’s advocacy role on its 25th anniversary

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has today congratulated Women in Super (WIS) on reaching its 25th anniversary. The women’s networking and advocacy organisation – of which AIST is a founding member - began as a breakfast event at AIST’s Conference of Major Superannuation Funds (CMSF) in 1994 to provide networking opportunities for women working in Australia’s $2.7 trillion super sector.

13 Mar 2019 - AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck opening address at CMSF19

What we do as superannuation professionals, how we fulfil our fiduciary duties, service members, and protect and grow members’ retirement savings as stewards of their hard-earned capital has been in the spotlight this past year. In just the last two months, we’ve had to digest both the Hayne royal commission and the Productivity Commission final reports. Both reports carry recommendations that could have significant implications for our sector.

15 Feb 2019 - Amended legislation will keep more people in super system - AIST

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST), has today welcomed the passage of the Protecting Your Super package, noting that important amendments would protect members from unintended consequences of the new legislation.

4 Feb 2019 - Regulators must act on Royal Commission recommendations to protect members in for-profit super funds

Today’s release of the final report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Banking Financial Services is an historic opportunity to restore the community’s trust in financial services and prioritise consumer best interests ahead of banking profits and executive bonuses, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees said.

21 Jan 2019 - Profit-to-member funds embrace Insurance in Super Code

Over 96% of the members of profit-to-member super funds are now covered by the Insurance in Super Code of Practice, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said today.

10 Jan 2019 - Productivity Commission gets it right on profit-to-member outperformance but misses mark on dealing with underperforming funds

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has today welcomed the Productivity Commission finding hard evidence - for the third time in a year - that the best performing super funds are in the profit-to-member sector. Today’s report from the Productivity Commission, which includes an additional year of data, found that on average, for the 11 years to 2018, profit to member funds outperformed retail funds by around 2 per cent per year.

11 Dec 2018 - New law to improve compliance with superannuation obligations among small businessAIST welcomes longer transition period for fee and cost disclosure requirements

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has welcomed today’s announcement from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) that the transition periods for key fee and cost disclosure requirements have been extended.

6 Dec 2018 - New law to improve compliance with superannuation obligations among small business

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has today welcomed the passage of legislation to help ensure small businesses comply with their legal obligation to pay superannuation for their workers.

5 Dec 2018 - AIST Awards celebrate achievements of $1.3 trillion profit-to-member super sector

A focus on targeted, personalised communication about superannuation was a key theme among winning campaigns at last night’s Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) Awards for Excellence.

20 Nov 2018 - Domestic violence measures welcome but Government’s economic package falls short on improving retirement outcomes for women

The Government’s newly announced Women’s Economic Security Statement was a missed opportunity to improve retirement outcomes for women, said the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) today.

14 Nov 2018 - Welcome move to ensure super funds members who need insurance don’t lose it

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has welcomed today’s announcement from the Opposition that it will move to amend key measures in the insurance in superannuation package now before Parliament.

7 Nov 2018 - 12% super needed to deliver a dignified retirement for all working Australians

Moving to 12% superannuation is vital to ensure that all working Australians achieve a dignified standard of living in retirement, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said today.

31 Oct 2018 - AIST member funds are AFCA-ready

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has today welcomed the launch of the new financial complaints body, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). Designed to be a one-stop shop for financial complaint resolution, AFCA represents the amalgamation of the Super Complaints Tribunal (SCT), the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO).

25 Oct 2018 - AIST welcomes end to decades of unfairness for WA de facto couples on super splitting

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has welcomed an announcement by the Federal Attorney-General today that separated de facto couples in Western Australia will soon be able to achieve a fair split of their superannuation assets in property settlements.

19 Sep 2018 - Labor’s super proposals an important step to improving retirement outcomes

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) welcomes Labor’s pre-election commitment that it will pay superannuation on government paid parental leave and scrap the minimum $450 monthly pay threshold for super payments.

17 Sep 2018 - Super’s next decade – where would you rather be?

Australian workers who invest their super in funds outside the high performing MySuper sector could be as much as $52.5 billion worse off in a decade’s time, according to new research from Rice Warner.

6 Sep 2018 - Scrapping pension age increase a win for older workers: AIST

The Australian institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has welcomed today’s announcement by Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, that the Government will not proceed with its policy to raise the access age for the Age Pension to 70 years.

5 Sep 2018 - AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck opening address at ASI 2018

Profit-to-member super has been in a defensive position for longer than we all care to remember. We have had to defend against attacks on the compulsory nature of superannuation by those who would rather see full wages freedom as opposed to a compulsory retirement savings system. We have had to defend our sector’s governance structure and the role of employer and employee representation on equal representation boards.

29 Aug 2018 - AFR opinion piece (Aug 2018): Retail trustees, with their independent directors, were unable to protect members from fee gouging and other misconduct. They should be barred from MySuper

The Government’s fixation with industry super funds and its desire to break up the role of union and employer groups on industry fund boards looks like it has been finally laid to rest. In pursing industry funds relentlessly, the Government took its eye off the banks and the inherent conflicts of interest at the heart of their operations.

20 Aug 2018 - Government’s rejection of key Senate recommendations a setback for the retirement outcomes of Australian working women

The Turnbull Government’s disregard for key Senate recommendations on reforming super was disappointing and a setback for the retirement outcomes of Australian women, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees said today.

6 Aug 2018 - AIST Statement on the Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry begins its Round Five hearings today in Melbourne. The focus of Round Five is superannuation, with the hearings scheduled to run for two weeks. Some AIST member funds have been given notice to give evidence and answer questions in these hearings.

27 Mar 2018 - AIST welcomes focus on consumer outcomes for insurance in super

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) today welcomed the release of the Parliamentary Joint Committee report on life insurance which contains key recommendations to improve consumer outcomes for insurance in superannuation.

19 Mar 2018 - Research shows widespread concern about housing affordability and retirement

New research on attitudes to property investment and saving for retirement has revealed widespread concern over affordable housing and support from a majority of non-property investors for changes to negative gearing.

14 Mar 2018 - Opening address - AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck at the 2018 Conference of Major Super Funds, Brisbane

"We are set for another big year in our industry this year. Assets under management continue to grow, markets are volatile and unpredictable, and there is a spotlight on our industry’s conduct and expenditure, through the lens of a Royal Commission ..."

18 Dec 2017 - Release of Insurance in Superannuation Voluntary Code of Practice

The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group (ISWG) today released the Insurance in Superannuation Voluntary Code of Practice for superannuation trustees.

20 Sep 2017 - Super industry consults on draft Insurance Code of Practice to improve outcomes for members

The draft Code - outlining a set of industry standards and new measures for all classes of insurance in superannuation, including life, total and permanent disability (TPD) and income protection - has been jointly developed over the past 10 months by the ISWG with input from insurers, super funds and legal and consumer groups, as well as other stakeholders.

1 Sep 2017 - ISWG fifth discussion paper

The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group today released the fifth in a series of discussion papers as a further step towards developing an Insurance Code of Practice for superannuation trustees.

28 Jul 2017 - ISWG fourth discussion paper

The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group today released the fourth in a series of discussion papers as a further step towards developing an Insurance Code of Practice for superannuation trustees.

5 May 2017 - ISWG third discussion paper

The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group (ISWG) is calling for submissions on a third discussion paper that outlines options to improve member experience and understanding of insurance within superannuation.

7 Apr 2017 - ISWG second discussion paper

The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group (ISWG) today released the second in a series of discussion papers as a further step towards developing a Life Insurance Code of Practice for superannuation trustees.

13 Mar 2017 - Group insurance data collection guidance released to improve consumer outcomes

AIST, FSC, IFF and ISA have together released best practice guidance for Group Insurance Data.

9 Mar 2017 - Call for submissions on Insurance in Superannuation Working Group discussion paper

The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group (ISWG) today released the first of a series of discussion papers as a first step towards extending the Life Insurance Code of Practice to superannuation trustees.

20 Dec 2016 - Improving life insurance in superannuation for consumers

Joint release from the Insurance in Superannuation Working Group on the priorities of the group.

3 Nov 2016 - Joint media release: Insurance in Superannuation Industry Working Group

Australia’s superannuation industry bodies have established the Insurance in Superannuation Industry Working Group.

12 Oct 2016 - AIST welcomes heightened APRA and ASIC focus on insurance to improve consumer outcomes

AIST today welcomed moves by both APRA and ASIC to improve consumer outcomes in life insurance products.

6 Oct 2016 - Group insurance statement of intent

Australia’s superannuation bodies share a common belief in the following principles underlying group insurance in superannuation.

13 Mar 2015 - What will the superannuation industry be like in 2025?

A survey of the superannuation industry by AIST and BNP Paribas Securities Services has shown the world we are planning for today will be very different in 10 years' time.

26 Aug 2014 - Renovate the house don’t pull it down – AIST responds to the Financial System Inquiry

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said today Australia’s $1.85 trillion superannuation system is on track to deliver further cost savings and value to members with the recently launched MySuper having already led to significant fee reductions*.

16 Jul 2014 - AIST to provide comprehensive response to the Financial Systems Inquiry interim report

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said today it would begin preparing a comprehensive response on key superannuation issues raised in the Financial System Inquiry’s interim report. AIST CEO Tom Garcia said AIST welcomed the Inquiry’s support of a robust regulatory framework for superannuation, its recognition of superannuation’s important role in the economy, and the need to develop clearer objectives for the superannuation system.

29 May 2019 - APRA member outcomes consultation

AIST submits that APRA’s proposed changes to Prudential Standard SPS 515 do not properly align it with the recent member outcomes assessment legislation. The promotion of the financial interests of members required by law must be reflected in the prudential standards, especially by giving primary consideration to the long-term net returns that deliver optimal retirement incomes to members. AIST proposes amendments and calls for the development industry benchmarks to support the assessment process.

24 May 2019 - Kinship structures and superannuation death benefits

AIST is supportive of broadening the definition of dependency to recognise cultural adoption and reflect First Australian kinship structures. We urge Treasury to consult directly with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to understand the issues they face in relation to superannuation and the best steps to address them.

6 May 2019 - Universal terms for insurance within MySuper

The joint Code owners of the Insurance in Super Code of Practice (AIST, ASFA & FSC) have jointly responded to the Treasury consultation on the development of universal terms for insurance within MySuper. As part of further developing the Code, a sub-committee is currently considering the scope and potential for industry standardisation of terms.

12 Apr 2019 - Enforceability of financial services industry codes

AIST has responded to a Treasury paper on the Financial Services Royal Commission recommendation about the enforceability of financial services industry codes. We supported industry codes as a means of lifting standards or for assessing if community expectations and members best interests are being met. Codes may contain both enforceable and aspirational provisions and there should be a clear and uniform approach to the identification and treatment of each type of provision. Code enforcement should generally be the responsibility of an independent body(such as a regulator) rather than a code owner.

10 Apr 2019 - APRA Capability Review

Following extensive consultation with profit-to-member funds, AIST has made a submission to the APRA Capability Review chaired by Graeme Samuel AC. AIST recommends a new superannuation mandate to better reflect APRA’s role; an integrated governmental superannuation data framework to support improved data collection, reporting and analysis; and makes numerous recommendations to improve supervisory arrangements.

10 Apr 2019 - Consultation Paper 308: Review of RG 97 Disclosing fees and costs in PDSs and periodic statements

This submission raises concerns that the latest fee and cost disclosure proposals from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will deny consumers who invest their super through platforms and managed investment schemes (MIS) important consumer protection measures. As part of its response to the Darren McShane review of the RG 97 fee and cost disclosure requirements, ASIC proposes to defer its decision on platform disclosure and the alignment of managed investment scheme disclosure with that of superannuation. AIST’s submission warns that ASIC’s proposals will create an uneven playing field on disclosure across the super system. We also raise concerns about confusions which will occur with technical issues if the proposals are implemented as currently framed

29 Mar 2019 - Insurance Claims Handling – Taking action on recommendation 4.8 of the Banking, Superannuation & Financial Services Royal Commission – Consultation Paper

AIST strongly supports the removal of the current exemption of insurance claims handling as a ‘financial service’. We query the basis for any exemptions if insurance claims handling becomes a ‘financial service’. AIST suggests that Treasury conducts roundtables to consult on draft legislation and a Regulatory Impact Statement.

22 Mar 2019 - Ending grandfathered conflicted remuneration for advisers

AIST supports this exposure draft legislation which will see the end of grandfathered conflicted remuneration on financial products. We believe that the 2021 implementation date is too late, and this measure must be implemented as soon as possible. In the meantime, details of commissions must immediately be added to fee disclosure statements, and in the absence of compelling reasons for their continued exemption, risk insurance products must be included in this measure.

7 Mar 2019 - AIST response to the Protecting Your Superannuation Package Regulations 2019

AIST has raised concerns with Treasury about the challenges involved in smoothly implementing some of the key measures. The regulations contain detail about the communications to be sent to inactive members with insurance, calculation of the fee cap, and arrangements for the transfer of accounts to and from the ATO. The speed with which it proceeded through Parliament has meant there are areas where greater clarity and consistency are desirable.

1 Feb 2019 - Pre-Budget Submission 2019

AIST welcomes the opportunity to present our Pre-Budget Submission for 2019-20. Our submission presents a longer-term view of problems facing superannuation into the future, with recommendations designed to address these.

9 Jan 2019 - FSC Consultation Draft – Life Insurance Code of Practice

AIST is pleased to provide feedback on the Financial Services Council’s review of the Life Insurance Code of Practice Consultation Draft. AIST provided comments on the original iteration of the life code and supports efforts for its continual improvement.

24 Oct 2018 - Submission to Financial Services Royal Commission – Round 6 Policy Issues

This submission is AIST’s third response to the Royal Commission. This submission responds directly to the submissions made by Counsel Assisting to the Commission at the close of the hearings relating specifically to insurance in round 6.

27 Jul 2018 - First Submission to Financial Services Royal Commission

This submission is AIST’s first response to the Royal Commission.

13 Jul 2018 - Response to Productivity Commission Draft Report

AIST welcomes the opportunity to respond to this draft report. AIST agrees that there is no place for long term underperforming funds in the default space. However, we believe enhancing the current Fair Work Commission default selection process and increased APRA scrutiny are the most efficient, appropriate, and importantly the least disruptive ways, to address this issue. The Productivity Commission should address the biggest problem of underperforming choice funds in the retail sector, which is a drag on the efficiency of the super sector. The ‘best in show’ default proposal does not address this. Multiple accounts, balance erosion by fees and underperforming funds are serious issues, which are already being addressed by the APRA Outcomes Assessment Test, new ATO services. This should be enhanced by legislation supporting direct fund-to-fund consolidation of lost super. The Insurance Code should be implemented and be the focus for lifting standards. Regulator benchmarking of fees and returns should be used to assess if funds are delivering fair value and address under-performing funds.

29 May 2018 - Protecting Your Super Package

AIST generally supports the package, but changes are needed to better meet members’ best interests. The fee cap calculation needs review and sell spreads need to be included in the calculation of exit fees in order to prevent gaming. The Insurance in Superannuation Voluntary Code of Practice should be the focus for improving member outcomes rather than the proposed legislation. Inactive accounts should be directly transferred to active accounts. A greater lead time is needed, given both process change and ATO processes already in train. AIST would appreciate further consultations to help better meet the proposals’ objectives.

20 Apr 2018 - APRA New Data Collection Consultation

AIST submits that implementation should be integrated with a review of existing documentation and forms. It should also form part of a whole of government approach to financial services reporting; this approach should be articulated by government as a priority. We emphasise the importance of appropriate communication during transition and implementation.

12 Apr 2018 - Insurance in superannuation voluntary code of practice

This supplementary letter addresses the Productivity Commission’s consideration of insurance in the third stage of their inquiry into the competitiveness and efficiency of the superannuation system. AIST's response relates to the Productivity Commission's invitation to provide further information about the insurance in superannuation voluntary code of practice, an update on the implementation process and preliminary details on the approach to developing the next iteration of the Code.

20 Oct 2017 - Insurance in superannuation code of practice

AIST supports the draft Code of Practice. AIST makes eleven recommendations as part of this submission, based upon key themes that have emerged from consultation with AIST members. AIST notes the low awareness of group insurance in superannuation and recommends that the importance of this be better communicated.

31 Aug 2017 - ISWG fifth discussion paper - Premium Adjustment Mechanisms

The fifth paper released by the Insurance in Superannuation Working Group (ISWG) outlines how practices sometimes described as ‘profit share arrangements’ apply across the industry and operate in practice.

28 Jul 2017 - ISWG fourth discussion paper - Data management

This paper from the Insurance in Superannuation Working Group outlines proposals that seek to enhance member insurance outcomes by improving access to timely and relevant information.

5 May 2017 - ISWG third discussion paper - Member communication and engagement

The third discussion paper released by the Insurance in Superannuation Working Group (ISWG) outlines options to improve member engagement and understanding of insurance arrangements within superannuation.

17 Nov 2016 - Joint submission: Inquiry into the Life Insurance Industry

AIST and ISA welcome this inquiry, which is examining the industry, in particular stories that may identify widespread issues and recommendations for reform. ISA and AIST are working with the superannuation and insurance industries to further improve the insurance experience of members, but there is more to do.

7 Oct 2016 - External Dispute Resolution Framework

The Government’s review of the financial system’s external dispute resolution framework must carefully consider the needs of consumers. Due to the growth of the superannuation sector the dispute resolution framework must continue to be well equipped to deal with consumer demands and AIST believes that there is scope for improvement. AIST is not opposed to the establishment of a triage service, or a single disputes handling body.

16 Sep 2016 - Superannuation reform package – Objective of superannuation

In conjunction with other industry associations, AIST seeks that the Government consult further prior to introduction of the Bill. We seek the amendment of the primary objective to include reference to providing an adequate income that delivers a comfortable retirement. AIST also seeks an additional subsidiary objective of increasing national savings; recognition of insurance as key part of the ‘sole purpose test’; Parliamentary committee review of statements of compatibility; and the development of tools to assess compatibility.

28 Apr 2016 - Draft regulations – life insurance remuneration reform

AIST supports the removal of the exemption to conflicted remuneration of life insurance commissions. Whilst we the additional clarification contained in the draft regulations, we emphasise that this would not be necessary if commissions had been completely outlawed as they have been on other financial products.

15 Apr 2016 - Senate Economics: Life insurance industry inquiry

AIST believes that the recent high profile failures in the insurance sector has come about due to differing expectations. AIST supports efforts to resolve this, but further notes that the many changes to policies, both at a macro/legislative level as well as at policy levels can only confuse consumers. AIST supports a code of conduct but stresses that this must be independently administered and resourced, as well as appropriately user tested. AIST also calls for a ban on commissions.

7 Mar 2016 - Senate Economics: Changes to life insurance remuneration arrangements

This Bill removes the exemption on benefits paid in relation to life insurance products from the ban on conflicted remuneration. AIST supports the removal of this exemption, however would also support an eventual end to commissions on life insurance products. AIST does not support the ability for ASIC to exempt certain payments by way of legislative instrument, and recommends that this be phased out by way of a sunset clause. We also recommend that clawback payments be returned to investors, and that disclosure rules be toughened to ensure that commissions are better disclosed.

24 Dec 2015 - Life insurance reform legislation

This exposure draft removes the exemption on benefits paid in relation to life insurance products from the ban on conflicted remuneration. AIST supports the removal of this exemption. AIST does not support the ability for ASIC to exempt certain payments by way of legislative instrument, and recommends that this be phased out by way of a sunset clause.

24 Dec 2015 - Raising professional standards of financial advisers

AIST supports the proposed requirements for financial advisers to require a bachelor’s degree, a professional year and the passing of an exam. We also support the requirement of an industry-wide code of ethics administered by a body chosen by the Minister. AIST submit that the transitional provisions must ensure that practitioners have appropriate time to comply.

31 Mar 2015 - AIST releases submission to final FSI report

AIST’s response to the Government on the Final Report of the Financial System Inquiry (FSI). The FSI Final Report makes a number of recommendations about superannuation and canvasses a range of policy options.

21 Oct 2014 - CGT exemption for compensation and insurance

This exposure draft broadens the exemption for superannuation funds from capital gains tax (CGT) in respect of compensation for certain events (e.g. injury at work) or insurance policies, such as illness, injury or death.

8 Oct 2014 - Letter to Treasurer of Victoria: Changes to stamp duty on life insurance

On 1 July 2014, changes made by the Government of Victoria to life insurance came into effect. AIST’s letter to the Treasurer outlines our issues with this and recommends that TPD be treated the same way as death cover.

26 Aug 2014 - Response to Financial System Inquiry Interim Report

The Financial System Inquiry, chaired by David Murray, has released its interim findings in to the financial system of Australia. This is AIST's response to these findings.

21 May 2019 - Essential Research – Understanding retail fund members

AIST commission Essential Media to conduct research into the decision-making process of Australians who are in retail for-profit funds. With a growing body of evidence pointing to the persistent underperformance of many retail funds, particularly those in the non-default ‘choice’ sector, AIST was keen to explore how people end up in these funds and whether these members are aware of their fund’s performance. The research findings – from both qualitative focus group sessions and a quantitative online survey – suggest a large cohort of Australians are misinformed about how their super fund is performing and what type of fund they are in. AIST is calling on the Government and industry regulators to develop an easy-to-use online super comparator tool to help consumers make more informed decisions about their super.

16 Mar 2018 - Home truths: negative gearing and retirement

Negative gearing allows taxpayers to borrow money to buy an asset and deduct any losses made against their taxable income. While negative gearing can be used to buy assets other than real estate – such as equities – property investments account for the vast majority of tax write-offs.