Regulatory Framework

Regulatory Framework

AIST believes that is vital to have strong consumer protections in place in a compulsory superannuation system. This includes ensuring members are informed and funds are transparent in their actions where ever possible. Read more

Select from our range of publications on this topic below: 


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.

3 Dec 2018 - New research reveals how consumer protection in superannuation has been watered down

Successive governments have provided dozens of regulatory carve-outs and concessions to products, benefitting banks and other retail super providers over more than a decade, according to a new research report released today by the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST).

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.

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.

25 Jul 2018 - Industry funding for new dispute body must avoid cross subsidisation

Funding for the newly-established Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) must avoid cross subsidisation by stakeholders, including super funds, The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has warned. In its submission to AFCA on the authority’s proposed funding models, AIST says it is essential that AFCA is appropriately funded to ensure it can provide an effective and efficient dispute resolution service to consumers and scheme members.

24 Jul 2018 - AIST welcomes report on fee and cost disclosure in superannuation

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has today welcomed the release of a comprehensive report into the fee and cost disclosure regime for superannuation funds. AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck said the report – prepared by independent expert, Darren McShane at the request of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) – vindicated many of AIST’s concerns with the existing fee and cost disclosure regime for superannuation funds.

29 May 2018 - Consumer interests best served by existing industrial-based default super system: AIST responds to Productivity Commission

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) today reiterated its support for an industrial-based default fund selection process, noting this model had a strong track record of protecting consumer interests and delivering superior returns.

8 May 2018 - Welcome measures to tackle lost super but super gender gap ignored AIST Budget response

The 2018/19 Federal Budget delivered welcome measures for the efficiency of the super system, but disappointedly did little to improve retirement outcomes for women, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said today.

27 Mar 2018 - Reforming payslip reporting will help address super ‘theft’

AIST has reiterated its call to reform payslip reporting to help address the problem of unpaid super, which is estimated to cost workers more than $2.8 billion each year.

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 ..."

30 Nov 2017 - Royal Commission must focus on banking misconduct and not get distracted: AIST

AIST has welcomed today’s announcement of a Royal Commission into the alleged misconduct of the banking sector, but warned that broadening the scope to include superannuation was an unnecessary measure and a waste of taxpayer money.

28 Nov 2017 - AIST welcomes international perspective on controversial fee and cost disclosure requirements

AIST has welcomed the appointment by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) of Darren McShane as an external expert on fee and cost disclosure.

2 Nov 2017 - AIST welcomes ASIC review of super disclosure rules

AIST welcomes the announcement by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) that it will conduct a review of the Regulatory Guide 97 fee and cost disclosure requirements and adopt a facilitative approach to funds complying with the existing legislation.

17 Aug 2017 - Extending Single Touch Payroll could reduce non-payment of superannuation in black economy

AIST has called on the Government to extend the mandatory uptake of Single Touch Payroll for small businesses

16 Aug 2017 - AIST welcomes Government’s focus on modern slavery

AIST has welcomed the Government’s announcement on modern slavery, noting that a new reporting regime for large businesses was an important step towards addressing Australia’s $5 billion unpaid superannuation problem.

15 Aug 2017 - Government reforms must recognise that net returns drive optimal retirement outcomes: AIST

The Government’s proposed ‘outcomes’ test risks diluting the vital role of net investment returns in delivering optimal retirement outcomes for superannuation consumers.

25 Jul 2017 - Superannuation reform package requires careful analysis: AIST

The Government’s package of superannuation reforms announced today requires careful analysis to ensure there are no unintended consequences for members.

28 Jun 2017 - Default fund must be named on new superannuation Choice online form

AIST has welcomed the digitization of superannuation choice forms but expressed concerns that important consumer protections could be overlooked as part of the process.

25 May 2017 - Choice members of ‘for-profit’ funds remain in the dark about poor performance

Millions of Australians are being kept in the dark about the poor performance of their retail super funds.

9 May 2017 - No place for long-term under-performers as default super funds: AIST

AIST has proposed that long-term under-performing default funds be replaced by better performing funds in its appearance before the Productivity Commission this week.

9 May 2017 - Cautious welcome to housing affordability super measures in the Budget

AIST has given a cautious welcome to Budget superannuation measures designed to help first home buyers and downsizers.

3 May 2017 - Recommendations on unpaid super will improve retirement outcomes: AIST

AIST has welcomed Senate Committee recommendations on unpaid super to ensure all Australians are receiving their full superannuation entitlements.

29 Mar 2017 - Productivity Commission fails to provide evidence that changing default fund system will benefit members

Proposed changes to the selection of default superannuation funds have the potential to put millions of working Australians at risk of poorer retirement outcomes, AIST said today.

24 Mar 2017 - New verification tool

A new service provider portal that allows super funds to verify the identity and contact details of financial counsellors has been launched at the AIST Conference of Major Superannuation Funds today.

17 Feb 2017 - New guide for fees and costs disclosure form

AIST, ASFA and the FSC today released a Guidance Notice to help funds comply with ASIC updated fees and costs disclosure requirements.

2 Dec 2016 - AIST welcomes Senate inquiry to investigate billions of dollars lost in unpaid super

AIST has welcomed the announcement of a Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into the impact of non-payment of the Superannuation Guarantee (SG).

23 Nov 2016 - New super changes will improve outcomes for low income earners, particularly women

AIST today welcomed the passage of the Government’s super tax reform package through both houses of Parliament.

11 Nov 2016 - Consumer protection paramount in default fund selection

AIST has reiterated the need for the highest level of consumer protection around default super fund selection in its second submission to the Productivity Commission.

10 Nov 2016 - Super changes that improve retirement outcomes for low income earners must be supported

AIST has urged all Federal Parliamentarians to support tax changes to superannuation that improve retirement outcomes for low income earners, including women.

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.

20 Sep 2016 - Default fund selection process must be in members’ best interests

AIST today responded to the release of the Productivity Commission issues paper on alternative default models.

18 Jul 2016 - Minister O’Dwyer urged to ensure super changes are workable and well-communicated

AIST today welcomed the appointment of Kelly O’Dwyer as Minister for Revenue and Financial Services.

4 May 2016 - Flexible Budget measures on super contribution caps will help women catch up: AIST

Budget measures that provide flexibility around the new $25,000 super contribution cap limits announced last night will be particularly helpful for women who return to work after a career break, AIST said today.

3 May 2016 - Super measures will improve fairness and sustainability of super: AIST Budget commentary

Key superannuation measures announced in tonight’s Federal Budget are a necessary step toward a fairer and more sustainable super system, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees said today.

26 Apr 2016 - Improving consumer disclosure and conflict of interest management will improve super system efficiency: AIST response to Productivity Commission

More consistent and meaningful consumer disclosure, together with strengthened conflict of interest management, would improve super system efficiency.

20 Apr 2016 - ASIC increased funding welcome but greater accountability and transparency is needed

AIST has today welcomed the Government’s announcement of increased funding for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) but called for greater accountability and transparency from the regulator.

17 Mar 2016 - 2016 AIST Mercer Super Tracker released: Government urged to revise Age Pension Asset Test

AIST and Mercer have called on the Government to urgently revise its new Age Pension Assets Test, with modelling showing the test will have a significant impact on the retirement outcomes of middle Australia.

16 Mar 2016 - Consumer protection for late super payments retained in full

AIST has welcomed the retention of the full Superannuation Guarantee Charge – an important consumer protection measure for superannuation payments to employees – following debate in Parliament earlier today.

9 Mar 2016 - Objective will protect super from ad-hoc policy changes and provide greater certainty: AIST

AIST today welcomed the Government’s move to begin the process of enshrining the objective of the superannuation system in legislation.

26 Feb 2016 - Senate Economics: New tax system for Managed Investment Trusts

AIST welcomes this legislation to create a new taxation system for attribution managed investment trusts. We note that the benefits of these bills should be made available to larger funds who invest through mandates. AIST recommends that guidance be provided by the ATO with respect to unit pricing, as well as certainty enshrined in legislation to ensure that there is no resettlement of trusts as a result of amendments to trust deeds which would have CGT effects to investors. We also recommend that the commencement date be postponed to 1 July 2017 in order to allow for the proper implementation of the new rules.

10 Dec 2015 - Choice product dashboards provide certainty but don’t go far enough

AIST has welcomed draft legislation released by the Government today requiring super funds to publish Choice product dashboards. These requirements are generally in line with requirements for MySuper product dashboards.

14 Oct 2015 - AIST welcomes new Shadow Minister

AIST today welcomed the appointment of Mr Jim Chalmers as the new Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation.

21 Sep 2015 - Reducing penalty for late super payments dilutes consumer protection

AIST is calling on Government to reconsider changes to the Superannuation Guarantee Charge reducing penalties for employers not meeting their obligations to pay superannuation to their employees

21 Sep 2015 - AIST welcomes new Treasury team and elevation of superannuation to Cabinet

AIST has today welcomed the appointment of the Hon Scott Morrison as Treasurer and the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP as Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business.

7 Jul 2015 - Involuntary retirees should not be denied early access to their super

Raising the age at which people can access their super could see the level of involuntary retirees blow out to more than half the Australian workforce, AIST said today.

18 Jun 2015 - Pension changes - without review of super - fail the fairness test

Proposed pension changes – currently before Parliament – would result in wealthy self-funded retirees receiving more than double the level of government support than most middle income Australians, AIST said today.

14 May 2015 - Tax review is timely to ensure entire retirement system is fair and sustainable

The Government’s tax review is a timely opportunity to examine the targeting of superannuation tax concessions to ensure Australia’s retirement income system is sustainable for the long-term, AIST said today.

12 May 2015 - Pension measurements a good first step – long-term super strategy must be next

AIST response to 2015 Federal Budget

5 May 2015 - Serious Financial Crime Taskforce welcomed - AIST

AIST has today welcomed Treasurer Joe Hockey’s announcement of the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce that will address superannuation and investment fraud, identity crime and tax evasion.

15 Apr 2015 - AIST acknowledges Bernie Ripoll’s contribution to financial advice reform

AIST has today acknowledged the contribution of The Hon. Bernie Ripoll MP to superannuation and the financial services industry, following Mr Ripoll’s announcement that he will not be re-contesting his Parliamentary seat in next year’s election.

7 Apr 2015 - AIST welcomes new Super Complaints Tribunal Chair

AIST has today welcomed the appointment of Ms Helen Davis as the new Chair of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT).

30 Mar 2015 - Tax inquiry is a timely opportunity to ensure super is fair and sustainable: AIST

The Government’s Tax Inquiry is a timely opportunity to examine the taxation arrangements for the superannuation to ensure they are fair and sustainable for both current and future generations, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said today.

5 Mar 2015 - IGR provides no evidence for Government to lift ‘retirement age’ to 70 years

AIST has called on the Government to review its proposal to lift the Age Pension eligibility age to 70 by 2035, following Intergenerational Report (IGR) projections that show future pension costs in our ageing population are manageable in existing policy settings.

22 Jan 2015 - Change to super payment threshold would penalise low income/casual workers

AIST has urged the Government to reject calls from the Board of Taxation to change the superannuation payment threshold for low income and casual workers to $1350 a quarter.

9 Jan 2015 - AIST- Mercer Super Tracker to provide basis for informed changes to the superannuation system

AIST and Mercer are collaborating to develop an industry first “super tracker” that will set the benchmark for evaluating the Australian superannuation system.

7 Jan 2015 - Increased use of e-commerce will promote active decision making in super

AIST has welcomed a joint announcement from the Hon. Bruce Billson MP and the Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP that will see an increase in the use of e-commerce in tax and superannuation reporting.

7 Dec 2014 - AIST welcomes FSI focus on removing politics from super and giving MySuper a fair go

AIST today welcomed the release of the Financial System Inquiry report, which recognises the need to ensure the super system is working effectively and efficiently and delivering positive retirement outcomes for members.

26 Nov 2014 - Member statements must not fall short on LISC disclosure

AIST is calling on the Government to maintain the separate disclosure of the LISC on members’ superannuation statements.

23 Oct 2014 - APRA urged to shed light on fees charged by non-MySuper default funds

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) today called on APRA to prioritize disclosure of all fees paid on default superannuation accounts, not just those paid on MySuper products.

10 Oct 2014 - Super must be included on workers’ pay slips: AIST

AIST has opposed Government moves to repeal the reporting on pay slips of superannuation contributions.

1 Oct 2014 - Call to move default bank-owned super into low-fee MySuper

AIST is calling on the Government to accelerate the release of super savings from high-fee bank-owned default super funds into lower fee MySuper products.

1 Oct 2014 - Full MySuper disclosure will lead to better consumer outcomes

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has welcomed the announcement from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) that it will be publishing comprehensive statistics on all MySuper products.

10 Sep 2014 - Financial planners need ethics classes, not ready for self regulation: ISA, AIST

Industry Super Australia (ISA) and the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) have argued in a joint parliamentary submission that the financial planning industry should be subject to mandatory ethics classes for planners, and is a long way from being ready for any kind of self-regulation.

2 Sep 2014 - Superannuation changes will hurt all Australian workers – AIST

Proposed new changes to the Superannuation Guarantee would have a significant impact on the retirement outcome of Australian workers and lead to further uncertainty about superannuation, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees said. AIST CEO Tom Garcia said the Government’s decision to further delay the SG rise to 12% represented a broken election promise not to bring in any negative changes to superannuation.

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*.

25 Jul 2014 - Government urged to appoint new expert panel for super fund default selection

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, (AIST), has today called on the Government to prioritise the appointment of new members to the Fair Work Commission’s Expert Panel for default fund selection following the release of the Federal Court of Australia’s written judgment that the former Panel was invalidly constituted.

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.

8 Jul 2014 - Regulator crackdown on super fund fee disclosure will benefit consumers

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has today welcomed moves by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) to stamp out misleading fee disclosure practices in the super and managed investment industry. In a report released today, ASIC raises concerns about the practice of ‘fee gaming’, whereby some super products are structured to intentionally disclose lower fees and costs than would otherwise be required.

13 May 2014 - Federal budget measures set to widen retirement income gap

The peak body for the $600 billion not-for-profit super sector, The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) said last night's Budget measures could create further inequity in Australia’s retirement income system over the long term. AIST CEO Tom Garcia said AIST was disappointed and concerned that the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) rate would be frozen for four years and would only reach 12% in 2022/23 instead of the original plan to reach 12% by 2019/20. This is the second change proposed to the legislated schedule in 12 months and adds another year to the timeline.

7 May 2014 - Tax cuts should give everyone a fair go – Government urged not to abandon super tax refund for low income earners

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has urged the Federal Government not to abandon existing superannuation equity measures for low income earners in the upcoming Federal Budget. The Government has said it will repeal the Low Income Superannuation Contribution (LISC) scheme that has provided a super boost of up to $500 a year for earning less than $37,000 year. The scheme, introduced two years ago, benefits an estimated 3.6 million Australians, or nearly one third of the total workforce – many of them part-time workers.

5 May 2014 - New disclosure timetable will give industry time to get it right

AIST said today’s announcement by the Government to defer the start date for the ‘choice’ product dashboard and portfolio holdings was a sensible decision that would help ensure a more meaningful outcome for superannuation consumers.

1 Apr 2014 - AIST recommends improved financial system regulation and policy alignment

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) today said that a more co-ordinated regulatory framework was required to ensure that Australia’s financial sector and our retirement income system continued to deliver long-term benefits to consumers and the nation.

6 Mar 2014 - AIST welcomes penalties for promoters of illegal early release schemes

AIST welcomes the passing of a Government Bill that will impose penalties upon promoters of illegal early release schemes.

21 Feb 2014 - AIST welcomes Government’s framework for stable SuperStream gateway network

AIST welcomes today’s announcement supporting the governance structure for the SuperStream gateway network. This will ensure the structure is strong and stable, and operates in the best interests of fund members.

17 Feb 2014 - Change has never been something that the not-for-profit superannuation sector has shied away from – quite the opposite.

Click here to read Tom's op ed piece published in The Age.

10 Jan 2014 - APRA Statistics show not-for-profit funds outperform

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees- AIST- has welcomed the release of the APRA Statistics Superannuation Fund-level Rates of Return (June 2013) with not-for-profit funds the clear standout.

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 - Retirement Income Disclosure Consultation Paper

Description: AIST does not support the requirement to mandate CIPRs as a default retirement income product to members. AIST supports effective disclosure and continuing efforts to simplify and improve disclosure for members, and supports the initiative of Government to ensure that this extends to retirement income products. AIST explains that the use of retirement income fact sheets must not form a replacement for choice product dashboards and takes this opportunity to call for a proper evaluation of the effectiveness of simplified standardised disclosure. Keywords: superannuation, retirement income stream, disclosure, projections, product dashboards, choice, mysuper, ciprs, Overview category: sustainability adequacy & longevity; regulatory framework;

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.

25 Jan 2019 - Post-Implementation Review of the Prudential Framework for Superannuation: Data and Reporting Framework

AIST believes that the reporting framework does not presently meet its objectives and APRA needs to change its focus to include members’ best interest. Reporting standards do not enable system performance assessment. AIST calls for a comprehensive data and reporting framework to be implemented, with a specification of what is needed to benchmark system performance.

18 Jan 2019 - Senate Economics: Social Security Amendment Bill

Schedule 1 to this Bill implements changes to Age Pension means testing to allow for new innovative income streams. AIST recommends that Schedule 1 be deferred due to the lack of a unified retirement income strategy at a policy level, the identification of major flaws in the Government’s retirement income framework as identified by the Productivity Commission, and the outstanding gaps in consumer superannuation disclosure which are yet to be resolved.

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.

7 Nov 2018 - Treasury Laws Amendment (Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Powers) Bill 2018 – Senate Economics Legislation Committee questions on notice

Areas where the regulators are hamstrung by not having access to reports or disclosures

26 Oct 2018 - Work test exemption - draft legislation and regulations

AIST supports this measure, however has reservations that the avoidance of conflict with the bring forward rule is designed to solve a problem which is likely to affect few members, and is very easily circumvented. We also have concerns about the imposition of excessive requirements on members and trustees to implement this measure, and have raised questions about spouse contributions and reporting.

26 Oct 2018 - Submission to Financial Services Royal Commission – Interim report

This submission is AIST’s fourth response to the Royal Commission.This submission responds directly to the interim report released by the Royal Commission.

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.

18 Oct 2018 - Senate Economics: Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Powers Bill

AIST offers conditional support for this Bill, however we point out that the Bill goes against international best practice by exempting product manufacturers, as well as relying on a flawed disclosure and reporting framework. AIST believes that further carveouts are not in fund members’ best interests. AIST is also uncertain what might constitute a trigger for a target market review.

26 Sep 2018 - APRA post implementation review of prudential standards

There are several reviews either in progress or recently completed that may affect the ability of APRA to provide a full review of the framework at this point in time. AIST recommends that there be a further post implementation review to consider the final report of the Royal Commission into Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services, as well as Productivity Commission reports, other recent APRA reviews, and initial industry feedback.

21 Sep 2018 - Submission to Financial Services Royal Commission – Round 5 Policy Issues

This submission is AIST’s second 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 superannuation in round 5.

15 Aug 2018 - AFCA RulesTreasury Laws Amendment (Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Power) Bill 2018

The proposed product intervention power and identification of target markets cannot work unless systemic gaps in the disclosure and reporting framework are fixed. The proposals should apply to product manufacturers, and not just those entities issuing PDSs: this would ensure all stages of intermediated product and distribution are included.

27 Jul 2018 - First Submission to Financial Services Royal Commission

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

20 Jul 2018 - Supplementary submission to Productivity Commission

This submission provides further information in response to a request from the Productivity Commission to provide further detail in relation to AIST’s proposal for an automatic rollover process that would address the problem of unnecessarily duplicated superannuation accounts. In this supplementary submission, we provide additional details and respond to additional matters requested by the 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.

6 Jul 2018 - Senate Economics: Protecting Your Super Bill

AIST is pleased that changes recommended by AIST during Treasury consultation have been incorporated. However, we still believe that the proposed changes do not meet the policy objectives. AIST’s has made recommendations in this submission designed to better align the package with the policy objectives, as well as ensuring that the requirements cannot be gamed.

15 Jun 2018 - Retirement Income Covenant for Trustees

AIST supports the proposal to include a retirement income covenant in the SIS Act. However, we do not support the proposal to mandate a CIPR as a default product for members’ retirements, as this is a decision that trustees should make having regard to the needs of their members. AIST believes that should a CIPR be mandated as a default product in retirement, trustees must be protected by a safe harbour.

8 Jun 2018 - Financial Institutions Supervisory Levies 2018-19

AIST supports the improvements in the process for raising levies. However, greater transparency, accountability and fairness are needed. Firstly, any discussion paper should be released simultaneously with a Cost Recovery Impact Statement and an updated Regulator Performance Assessment. Secondly, any risk-based approach to levy raising should take into account the volume of regulator activities spent on various entities and sectors (profit-to-member; retail).

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.

25 May 2018 - Draft CPS 234 – Information SecuritySenate Economics: Treasury Amendment Bill Number 4

AIST supports the measures in this Bill, however we consider that limiting the discussion on unpaid super to the Superannuation Guarantee and employees has several disadvantages. AIST has proposed a series of enhancements which could further improve the Bill.

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.

10 Apr 2018 - CP 298: Oversight of AFCA

AIST supports appropriate regulatory guidance for disclosure regarding complaints resolution processes. Provision must be made for any delays in the transition to the new AFCA regime, and AIST supports transitional relief for the event that the transition is unable to occur. AIST recommends that wherever appropriate, communications to members should discuss external dispute resolution schemes in approved generic terms in order to reduce unnecessary costly and resource intensive document production cycles.

6 Apr 2018 - APRA member outcomes consultation

AIST supports the proposals which have an ongoing focus on improving member outcomes. AIST notes that there are three key issues which are fundamental and need addressing, being the difficulty of meaningful benchmarking, the existence of various disclosure gaps and clarity needed in relation to the interaction with various pending legislative amendments. AIST believes that the outcomes criteria needs to give primacy of focus to long-term net returns backed with the provision of quality outcomes by RSE licensees, whilst accommodating tactical investment options such as cash.

23 Mar 2018 - Regulations supporting transfer of early release of superannuation function to the ATO

AIST supports transferring the responsibility of assessing early release applications from the Department of Human Services to the Australian Taxation Office. However, we believe the regulations could be improved and make several recommendations that, if implemented, would increase the integrity and efficiency of the early release regime.

20 Mar 2018 - Competition in the Australian Financial System – Draft Productivity Commission Report

AIST agrees with the draft Report’s themes that consumers are losing their market power to shareholders and this causes consumer detriment. A consumers first approach is needed through ensuring general advice is unconflicted, conflicted advice is renamed to reflect its sales/commissions based purpose, disclosure gaps are addressed, and that the complete chain of product manufacture and distribution is accountable for consumer outcomes.

20 Feb 2018 - Expert Review of Superannuation Fees and Costs Disclosure Regime

AIST supports the Expert Review. Our key concerns with the Disclosure Regime stem from members being placed in a position of not being able to compare products, the inability at system level of comparing fees, costs and returns, and the legislative onus to both collect and report not including investment managers, which hold the data in the first place. AIST strongly advocates that there is a need to clearly articulate the objectives and the underlining principles for the Regime, which (in being applied) would lead to a better outcome for both consumers and the system as a whole.

16 Feb 2018 - Means testing of retirement income streams

In this submission, AIST offers a guarded support for the proposed means test treatment outlined in the Position Paper. Whilst we support the principles underpinning this paper, we do not believe that there has been an appropriate balancing of these principles, and suggest that fiscal sustainability should not drive means testing rules. AIST offers suggestions aimed at improving these measures, and supports the use of grandfathering to protect existing pensioners.

16 Feb 2018 - Draft legislation - SG integrity measures

AIST supports the measures contained in this exposure draft. However, we recommend further measures to effectively address the systemic problem of unpaid superannuation. This submission includes recommendations on enabling members to identify unpaid superannuation, requiring funds to have effective arrears processes in place, adequately resourcing the ATO to recover unpaid super and addressing unpaid superannuation issues affecting contractors.

12 Feb 2018 - Early Release of Superannuation Benefits

AIST believes that individuals should be able to access superannuation savings prior to retirement, but access should only be permitted in limited circumstances as early access can limit an individual’s ability to achieve an adequate retirement. Furthermore, superannuation should not be used to address structural or systemic problems in other areas of society and governments must examine the central issues that cause individuals to access superannuation early.

9 Feb 2018 - Product Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Power – Draft Legislation

We strongly support the Bill and ASIC’s Product Intervention Powers. However, we recommend that the Bill be amended so that all stages of the intermediated models of production and distribution are be captured. In particular, we recommend that product ‘manufacturers’ should be covered by the Bill: this would also better align the Bill with international disclosure trends. We support the exclusion of MySuper from the Bill, given MySuper requirements are more onerous. We are pleased to see the inclusion of Choice products. The complementary powers which would be provided to ASIC would lie on a regulatory framework from which there have been systemic carveouts. AIST appreciates fixing these is a longer-term project.

2 Feb 2018 - Tax Integrity Measures

AIST supports these measures which will reduce the ability of LRBAs to circumvent restrictions on contributions. We point out that fund leverage adds to systemic risk in the financial system, and point to the opportunity that exists to prohibit these, as recommended by the Financial System Inquiry.

15 Dec 2017 - Introduction of ASIC’s Fee-for-Service under the Industry Funding Model

AIST supports the ASIC Fee-for-Service model, but advocates that the model should comply with the Government’s Cost Recovery Guidelines. AIST also advocates that levies should also be raised by superannuation sector and the volume of regulator activity needed (profit-to-member; retail, etc).

1 Dec 2017 - National Financial Literacy Strategy 2018

AIST supports measures to increase consumer financial literacy skills in order to improve their ability to make good financial decisions. However, the current regulatory framework is deficient and is hampering the ability of individuals to make appropriate financial decisions and these deficiencies must be addressed. The Strategy should have regard to intergenerational issues, the needs of First Australians and the growth of digital technology.

20 Nov 2017 - Establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority

This joint submission by AIST and ISA reiterates our disappointment at the decision to dismantle the SCT. AIST believes the transition to AFCA may detrimentally impact the rights of fund members and may put fund trustees in a position where their proposed obligations to AFCA may be in conflict with their obligations to their members.

17 Nov 2017 - Strengthening penalties for corporate and financial sector misconduct

AIST supports appropriate penalties for corporate and financial sector misconduct, and generally supports the positions taken in this Paper. We agree that an effective regulator needs to have the regulatory resources, including penalty provisions, to allow them to provide effective enforcement. AIST cautions against disgorgement penalties which may inappropriately penalise the members of a superannuation fund.

3 Nov 2017 - Treasury Laws Amendment (Whistleblowers) Bill 2017

AIST supports the measures in the exposure draft legislation to create a consolidated whistleblower protection framework. The development of a new framework should be accompanied by an examination of corporate misconduct within Australia because a robust whistleblower framework on its own cannot prevent misconduct. Other factors such as poor workplace culture and poor leadership can increase the likelihood of misconduct.

29 Sep 2017 - Establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority Bill 2017

AIST submits that it is imperative that superannuation fund members and funds are not detrimentally impacted by the proposal to replace the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal with a new one-stop-shop. It is vital for the industry to be consulted in relation to many legislative and non-legislative measures associated with the Bill.

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.

25 Aug 2017 - ATO online super account name display

AIST supports the display of product names in ATO Online, but recommends changing the current listings of product names in the Fund Validation Service to improve fund name recognition by members. However, resolution of this issue does not address AIST’s wider concerns about the proposed online choice of fund form.

21 Aug 2017 - Response to Productivity Commission Stage 3 Issues Paper

This submission reiterates AIST’s strong support for the legislated but not yet implemented system for selecting default superannuation funds. Even without the enhanced quality filter arising from the legislated system, the existing model has delivered out-performance for default members and provided many benefits to the greater economy. The review process has failed to deliver any hard evidence that any of the proposed alternate models will deliver superior retirement outcomes for members. Without such evidence – and noting the risk and costs that would result from dismantling the current system – the Commission should be reluctant to recommend to the Government any changes that cannot be proven to lead to better retirement outcomes for members.

11 Aug 2017 - Salary Sacrifice Integrity Measures

AIST welcomes the proposed changes which will remove loopholes that allow employers to reduce the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) entitlements of employees who use salary sacrifice arrangements. The effectiveness of this measure could be enhanced by using gross remuneration as the basis of calculation of the SG, and removal of the ability for employers to generically label concessional contributions in SuperStream.

11 Aug 2017 - Black Economy Taskforce

Submission to the Black Economy Taskforce on increasing superannuation compliance. AIST recommends the Taskforce support existing initiatives (eg, SuperStream and Single Touch Payroll, new superannuation reporting in preference to the Taskforce’s suggestions on the New Payment Platform.

4 Aug 2017 - Housing-related superannuation measures

In response to this exposure draft, AIST points out that the First Home Super Savers Scheme has serious administrative issues that require resolving before implementation could be considered. We also note significant problems associated with the policy intention of the measure. AIST also points out that the downsizing measure is not well targeted.

28 Jul 2017 - Industry codes in the financial sector

In this submission, AIST argues that the function of codes is to fill gaps, lift standards and promote leading practice rather than being the first line of defence for serious systemic issues. The need for industry codes and co-regulation is difficult to assess due to uncertainty, and there are gaps in the regulatory framework that need to be fixed as a matter of priority.

27 Jul 2017 - Relief application: Disclosure of fees and costs for superannuation products

AIST, in conjunction with ASFA and FSC (on behalf of the RG 97 industry working group) has applied for relief from the dollar disclosure provisions applicable to buy-sell spreads in periodic statements.

26 Jul 2017 - Online choice of fund design consultation

This ATO consultation seeks feedback on the design of the online choice of fund form. AIST maintains that the form must list the default fund, including details in the current choice form, provides an up to date listing of employees’ existing super funds together with information about balances, insurance, recent contributions and MySuper status, contains the same level of consumer protection as the current choice form and undertakes further consumer testing.

26 Jul 2017 - Strengthening ASIC’s licensing powers

AIST supports measures which ensure that ASIC has the appropriate powers to ensure that entities applying for Australian Financial Services Licenses (AFSLs) are fit and proper licensees. AIST supported this recommendation from the Financial System Inquiry. AIST's submission indicates our full support for all of the positions proposed in the consultation paper. We have, however, chosen not to respond to the questions contained in the paper.

9 Jul 2017 - Framework for Comprehensive Income Products for Retirement

AIST recommends that a post retirement framework be required to be developed by trustees. This would assist trustees in developing a preferred retirement income strategy for their members, in line with members’ needs and best interests. To strengthen putting the best interests of members first, current gaps in the Choice disclosure space require attention as a priority. Given the importance of post-retirement issues, AIST calls for a working group be established to review key post-retirement issues as well as the establishment of a holistic review of retirement incomes.

28 Jun 2017 - External Dispute Resolution: Compensation and Redress

AIST has concerns around the use of a compensation scheme of last resort for superannuation complaints notably because unpaid determinations are not an issue within the superannuation sector as super funds are required by law to comply with the decision that is made. Due to this, profit-to-member super funds should not be made to contribute to any compensation scheme. There is also no evidence of redress problems within the super sector. Any redress scheme could potentially jeopardise members’ interests as members’ money would ultimately fund the scheme and there is no evidence that allowing redress would be beneficial.

22 Jun 2017 - Proposed financial levies, 2017-18

AIST notes that the assessment of the levies is difficult, given the current lack of a Cost Recovery Impact Statement. We note that it is difficult to assess whether the levies comply with the Government’s Cost Recovery Guidelines, particularly the items relating to additional funding. AIST recommends that a CRIS be provided with the levies discussion paper in future years.

21 Jun 2017 - Review of Fair Entitlements Scheme

AIST supports all efforts to better support employees who may be affected by an employer’s insolvency. We endorse Industry Super Australia’s submission and point to the role that Single Touch Payroll can play as a detection mechanism of financial trouble.

14 Jun 2017 - EDR and complaints framework

AIST and ISA, in a joint submission, have identified key issues regarding the proposal to establish a new external dispute resolution scheme to replace the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal and the Financial Ombudsman Service. It is critical that the gaps in the legislative arrangements underpinning the new scheme are rectified, for funding to be transparent, and for our concerns around elements such as the transitional arrangements to be addressed.

14 Jun 2017 - FOFA post-implementation review

In this joint submission, AIST and ISA argue for removal of exemptions from the conflicted remuneration prohibitions. We also put a case for client fee agreements to be made annually, as opposed to bi-annually as they are currently. Finally, we call for a strengthening of the rules around soft dollar benefits.

26 May 2017 - ASIC Supervisory Cost Recovery Levy Regulations 2017 exposure draft

AIST supports the introduction of an ASIC industry funding model. We reiterate our lack of support for any carve-outs (eg the ‘Statutory Levy’) from the Government’s Cost Recovery Guidelines. Given ASIC’s concerns about the poor culture within the banks and resultant consumer losses, AIST strongly recommends that the draft Regulations should enable raising of levies by volume of ASIC work, ie by APRA industry sub-sector (profit-to-member, for-profit, etc). AIST also advocates for separate accounting of dispute resolution body funding (AFCA). AIST also strongly recommends that an industry roundtable to discuss the calculation methodology is needed.

12 May 2017 - ASIC Enforcement Review: Self-reporting of contraventions by financial services and credit licensees

An effective breach reporting framework is critical for effective enforcement of the financial services regulatory regime. AIST supports the Review’s proposals to strengthen the breach reporting framework, the inclusion of breaches by financial advisers and credit licensees, and requiring ASIC to report annually on breach reporting at the licensee level. Given the nature of regulatory breaches, ASIC’s annual reporting of breaches should be by sector (similar to that used in APRA statistics). AIST would be pleased to work with ASIC to develop guidance.

3 May 2017 - Response to Productivity Commission Draft Report: Superannuation: Alternate Default Models

AIST identifies key elements for a robust default fund selection process in its response to the Productivity Commission Draft Report: Superannuation: Alternative Default Models.

24 Apr 2017 - Super reform – minor and technical amendments

This exposure draft rectifies many of the issues identified during consultation on the new measures introduced as part of the 2016 Budget. AIST strongly supports these changes in principle, however reserves the right to make further comment in May.

12 Apr 2017 - Draft Regulations Innovative Superannuation Income Streams

AIST welcomes the certainty that these regulations will bring for providers of innovative income streams. These draft regulations would be improved through limitations on unreasonably long deferral periods, better disclosure of pricing methodologies and better strategy with regards to the declining capital access schedule. However the rules around distributing excess cash from group self-annuitisation arrangements works against members of profit-to-member funds.

20 Mar 2017 - RG97 fees and costs disclosure – issues list provided to ASIC

As requested by ASIC in its notification to extend the transition time for RG97, the industry has submitted the attached lists (separated into policy and technical issues).

15 Mar 2017 - Design and distributions obligations and product intervention power

In these joint submissions AIST and ISA generally welcome the proposals to impose obligations upon financial product issuers and distributors and to provide ASIC with product intervention powers to reduce the likelihood of consumers being mis-sold products that are not aligned with their financial situation, objectives and needs. There are existing regulatory gaps that should be filled to better protect consumers.

10 Mar 2017 - ASIC levies draft bills

AIST strongly supports the introduction of an ASIC industry funding model and the move towards greater transparency. However, AIST does not support carve-outs from complying with the Government’s Cost Recovery Guidelines (CRG). The objectives set out in the Levies Bill need to reflect compliance with the CRG, and that the levies raised need to reflect the volume of ASIC’s focus on particular entities and sub-sectors (including profit-to-members and for-profit subsectors). It is critical that consultation also occurs regarding any draft Regulations, which will set the levy calculation methodology.

10 Mar 2017 - Transfer Balance Cap and death benefits (Draft LCG 2017/D3)

In our submission on this draft Law Companion Guideline, AIST raises a question around the policy intention of different treatment of death benefit income streams depending on whether these are reversionary or non-reversionary for the purposes of the transfer balance cap.

17 Feb 2017 - Successor fund transfers and wind-ups (draft SPG 227)

AIST thanks APRA for the opportunity to comment on this draft PPG. AIST supports all assistance that can be provided to trustees to facilitate super fund consolidation. Such consolidation will ensure that the benefits of scale can be provided to fund members.

17 Feb 2017 - Senate Economics: SG non-payment

Employer superannuation non-compliance remains a serious problem and calls for an automated and systematic response, as well as requiring more resources for managing complaints. AIST argues for ATO and Government to prioritise initiatives to address these challenges and for the success of these initiatives to be monitored and evaluated. Unfinished ATO initiatives should be reactivated, and the new initiatives of Single Touch Payroll and more regular reporting of contributions should be designed to improve compliance. Other SuperStream measures should also be given specific compliance objectives.

2 Feb 2017 - Means testing of retirement income streams

AIST considers that the role of social security in prioritising Comprehensive Income Products for Retirement (CIPRs) as recommended by the Financial System Inquiry needs to be addressed in this discussion paper. We believe that the focus on neutrality is not properly reconciled with Government policy and our submission points out that people should be compensated for trading in flexibility.

2 Feb 2017 - Superannuation reform package regulations

AIST has made a brief submission to Treasury in relation to draft regulations to support the implementation of the new superannuation measures. We have not identified any issues on which we need to make comment.

24 Jan 2017 - ATO issues guidance on the defined benefit income cap

LCG 2016/D10 provides guidance around how the defined benefit income cap applies to superannuation income stream benefits that are paid from a non-commutable, lifetime pension or lifetime annuity. AIST welcomes the guidance, and takes the opportunity to raise potential areas for clarification.

24 Jan 2017 - ATO issues guidance on amendments to the calculation of concessional contributions

LCG 2016/D11 provides guidance around amendments to the calculation of concessional contributions and excess concessional contributions in the Act apply to contributions and amounts allocated by superannuation providers under the new rules from 1 July 2017. AIST welcomes the guidance, and takes the opportunity to raise potential areas for clarification.

19 Jan 2017 - Pre-Budget Submission 2017

AIST welcomes the opportunity to present our Pre-Budget submission for 2017-18. We do not endorse superannuation being used for deficit reduction to a greater extent than other industry segments or for untested superannuation policy announcements to be made on Budget night. The current package of superannuation reforms should be implemented and allowed to settle, and KPIs should be developed and used to assess system performance against the primary and subsidiary objectives by an independent, publicly-funded body. AIST recommends a range of changes to improve superannuation for consideration.

9 Jan 2017 - ASIC-ATO Information sharing

This exposure draft legislation which enables ASIC to share information with the ATO without the need for approval of the Chairperson of ASIC. AIST supports measures to promote the streamlining of flows of information between ASIC and the ATO, and the removal of red tape such as this. AIST also supports measures aimed at curtailing illegal activity and believes that this measure can only improve law enforcement efforts. As such, we support this exposure draft.

23 Dec 2016 - Senate Economics: Objective of Superannuation

This Bill, presently in front of Parliament, seeks to enshrine the objective of superannuation. AIST believes that not including the provision of a comfortable retirement income in the proposed objective is a fundamental defect in the Bill. The lack of support for the proposed definition, its lack of binding force, the absence of measurement tools, the lack of recognition of superannuation in increasing national savings and of the need to address the gender gap are also serious issues that must be addressed. An alternate definition is proposed, as is parliamentary review of statements of compatibility, and an approach to measurement.

16 Dec 2016 - ASIC Industry Funding Model

AIST strongly supports the Proposed Funding Model and its move towards transparency and accountability. The method of undertaking levies calculations and producing a CRIS based on ASIC’s past year’s activities will greatly assist transparency. AIST recommend the need to gather data to examine risk-related metrics. AIST has also made other recommendations to improve the implementation of this model.

8 Dec 2016 - ATO consults on Transfer Balance Cap guidance

Draft Law Companion Guideline LCG 2016/D9 provides guidance around the recently legislated transfer balance cap which restricts amounts going into the tax-exempt retirement phase of superannuation. AIST welcomes the guidance, and takes the opportunity to raise potential areas for clarification.

16 Nov 2016 - Senate Economics: Super reform package of bills

This package of bills contain tax measures proposed in the 2016 Federal Budget. AIST generally supports these measures, noting some practical difficulties to implementation. In this submission, AIST encourages prompt passing of the bills to ensure that sufficient time is given to enable implementation by 1 July 2017.

21 Oct 2016 - Tranche 3 of superannuation reform draft bill

The third tranche of superannuation reform will implement a lower annual non-concessional contributions cap, an account balance cap on non-concessional contributions and streamlines release authorities for Division 293 taxation. AIST notes the dependence of these measures on timely and accurate data being held by the ATO, but supports these measures and their early consideration by Parliament.

21 Oct 2016 - Backpacker super to be taxed at 95%

This is AIST's submission to the Senate Economics inquiry into changes to taxation for people on working holiday visas. Included in the package of bills is a measure that will increase the effective taxation on Departing Australia Superannuation Payments to 95.75% for holders of 417/462 visas. AIST opposes this measure as we believe it to be inequitable.

10 Oct 2016 - Superannuation reform package tranche 2

The second tranche of superannuation reform will implement a transfer balance cap at retirement of $1.6 million, a reduction in the concessional contributions cap to $25,000 p.a., catch-up concessional contributions, removal of anti-detriment provisions, and changes to taxation of retirement income streams. AIST notes considerable complexity for transfer balance caps, but generally supports most measures. We continue to oppose measures to reduce the concessional cap, especially for over 50s.

16 Sep 2016 - Superannuation reform package – Budget superannuation tax measures

AIST supports the deductibility of personal contributions, increased eligibility of tax offsets for spouse contributions and the revised arrangements for the low income tax offset. AIST suggests the general exclusion of defined befit funds from the deductibility measure, and a transitional mechanism for the LISTO.

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.

2 Jun 2016 - Proposed Financial Institutions Supervisory Levies for 2016-17

While AIST welcomes consultation on proposed financial levies for 2016-2017, AIST is once again concerned that insufficient detail renders the proposal as non-compliant with the Government’s Cost Recovery Guidelines and Charging Framework. AIST calls for proposed levies papers to attach Cost Recovery Impact Statements and the outcomes of the Regulator Performance Framework from all regulators (even if in draft). While not raised in the proposal, AIST firmly believes implementation of an ASIC user-pays model should not occur without further consultation. We seek information as to how the additional approx. $120million funding to ASIC will be raised.

2 Jun 2016 - AUSTRAC Industry Contribution 2016-17

AIST welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Consultation Paper. AIST seeks clarification firstly as to the basis for excluding the AUSTRAC Industry Contribution from the requirements of the Government’s Cost Recovery Guidelines, and secondly why so many entities are excluded from the Industry Contribution (this being difficult to gauge without a Cost Recovery Impact Statement having been prepared).

20 May 2016 - CP 254: Digital financial product advice

In this joint submission with Industry Super Australia (ISA), AIST supports the introduction of guidance specific to digitally provided advice that ASIC has issued. We support the clarity that the draft regulatory guide provides, however have recommended that guidance be expanded to include additional issues, including scaling advice, triage and IT outsourcing.

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.

27 Apr 2016 - CP 255: Remaking ASIC class orders on financial services disclosure

AIST has supported the remaking of two class orders dealing with product disclosure statements.

6 Apr 2016 - Objective of superannuation

AIST supports the primary objective for the superannuation being to provide retirement income for all Australians that, when combined with or in replacement of any public pension, ensures a reasonably comfortable living standard, in the spirit of fairness within and between generations.

30 Mar 2016 - CP 253: Remaking and repealing ASIC class orders on dollar disclosure

This consultation paper sets out ASIC’s proposals to remake class orders [CO 04/1431], [CO 04/1433] and [CO 04/1435] on dollar disclosure, with the repeal of class orders [CO 04/1430] and [CO 04/1432]. AIST generally supports the proposals contained in this consultation paper. However, we believe that the relief presently provided for periodic statements in [CO 04/1435] is not appropriate and recommend that it no longer apply.

18 Mar 2016 - CP 251: Remaking class order on financial product advice – exempt documents

AIST supports the proposal to continue the relief contained in Class Order 03/606 [CO 03/606] beyond the sunset date. We agree that the relief provided is sensible and should be retained.

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.

2 Mar 2016 - CP 247: Review and remediation programs and changes to record-keeping requirements

AIST supports the proposed ASIC guidance. The guidance would benefit from a stronger focus on independence of reviewers, as well as transparency and accessibility. The focus on whether a matter is systemic may provide a disincentive for licensees to positively act on issues that are easily addressed through a regular profiling program.

19 Feb 2016 - Exposure Draft TPB Information Sheets TPB(I) D30/2015 Cloud Computing and TPB(I) D31/2015 Confidentiality

AIST welcomes guidance for persons providing tax (financial) advice services to members of not-for-profit superannuation funds. We support this guidance but note that ideally, APRA should be consulted to ensure consistent guidance from regulators. AIST also takes the opportunity to remind the TPB that reconciliation of initial disclosure, consent and information gathering processes between TASA and Corporations Act requirements should be prioritised.

15 Feb 2016 - CP 244: Remaking ASIC class orders on dealing in underlying investments

AIST supports the existing relief granted in Class Orders [CO 02/1161], [CO 02/1073] and [CO 02/1074]. We agree with ASIC’s explanation in paragraphs 11 to 19 of the consultation paper (CP 244) that without the relief, superannuation funds would be required to hold an AFS licence which authorises funds to trade in underlying assets, as well as the need to provide a Financial Services Guide (FSG) for trading in the underlying assets. We support the combining of these three class orders into one instrument together with the other changes described in CP 244.

12 Feb 2016 - CP 249: Remaking ASIC class order on generic financial calculators

AIST supports the proposal to remake the class order on generic financial calculators, particularly given that the class order would otherwise be ‘sunsetted’. However, AIST believes that a better result going forward would be to examine both generic financial calculators and retirement income projections together. In this regard, AIST urges a review of retirement income projections, in line with the Government supporting the FSI recommendations in this regard. AIST undertook research into financial calculators and retirement income projections in 2014, in conjunction with VPR. Our research is available here.

10 Feb 2016 - 2016-17 Pre-Budget Submission

AIST does not support the Budget being used to implement changes to the superannuation tax environment without considering the outcomes of the tax inquiry process and retirement incomes review, as well as the setting of objectives for the superannuation system. We recommend that these are finalised prior to any hasty policy changes driven by fiscal short-termism. However, we continue to support Budget action on a number of specific measures to improve fairness and efficiency of the system.

29 Jan 2016 - Resilience and collateral protection and client money reforms

AIST welcomes measures aimed at improving resilience and stability of Australia’s financial system as well as facilitating participation in international derivatives markets. We support measures aimed at protecting retail clients, and we support efficiencies in wholesale derivatives markets, particularly where participants are Australia’s superannuation funds. We look forward to consultations around margin requirements with APRA, however we point out that any additional costs resulting from margining will be ultimately borne by members of superannuation funds. We note that the largest activity in derivative activity undertaken by funds is with regards to foreign currency hedging.

27 Jan 2016 - Extending superannuation choice to enterprise agreements and workplace determinations

AIST supports the principle of choice in superannuation but argues this has to be provided in a way that does not leave consumers worse off, and operates in an environment of meaningful disclosure and consumer protections. In the event the Government decides to proceed with this legislation, AIST proposes that the existing exemption remain for enterprise agreements where superannuation benefits in excess of the community standard are negotiated between the employer and their employees. This submission suggests ways to clarify transition and the selection of default funds.

25 Jan 2016 - Improved Superannuation Transparency

While AIST strongly supports the greater alignment of MySuper and Choice disclosure through the introduction of Choice dashboards, AIST is concerned that certain products (including platforms and legacy products) – in which there is considerable member money invested - are excluded. Alignment of MySuper and Choice is needed to protect members and ensure greater superannuation system efficiency. Greater alignment of Portfolio Holdings Disclosure to consumer disclosure to capture interposed vehicles is also needed.

15 Jan 2016 - Commissioner of Taxation's power to modify law

AIST supports giving the Commissioner of Taxation the power to modify superannuation and taxation law to provide beneficial outcomes for taxpayers. While necessary safeguards are provided, the ATO should also be required to publish an annual report on the use of this power, on an overall basis and addressing each case.

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.

18 Dec 2015 - IGT review of employer obligations compliance activities

AIST supports the removal of red tape for employers, however we believe that this must not come at the expense of employees’ entitlements. AIST does not support the existing model where a breach must be reactively reported by employees to the ATO, and supports the use of Single Touch Payroll, SuperStream and other technological improvements to more proactively monitor employers for non-payment. AIST believes that enforcement of other types of superannuation contribution by employers must urgently be addressed.

30 Oct 2015 - Senate Economics review of economic security in retirement for women

The superannuation gender gap is a pressing issue. AIST welcomes this review by the Senate Economics References Committee, and believes that this review, combined with the Government’s response to the Financial System Inquiry, Retirement Incomes Review and Taxation review forms an excellent opportunity to ensure that superannuation policy has a holistic gender lens applied. Although we note that the cause of the gender gap is not confined to superannuation, we believe that transparent objectives and agreed KPIs for the superannuation system will ensure that policy changes are appropriately road-tested prior to implementation.

26 Oct 2015 - Reforms to Superannuation Governance Prudential Framework

APRA has proposed draft prudential standards and practice guides designed to support the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Trustee Governance) Bill 2015 which is currently before Parliament. AIST does not support the changes, and is unconvinced of any resulting benefit to members. AIST would also support an approach which is less prescriptive and more principles-focussed in its approach.

20 Oct 2015 - Unclaimed super changes (draft regulations)

AIST welcomes the exclusion of members using electronic means to communicate with their fund from being lost members, and the capacity for ERFs to transfer balances to members’ active accounts without their consent. However, the removal of lost member requirement to be ‘employer-sponsored’ should exclude ERFs transferring balances into active accounts. Overall, however, AIST call for a complete overhaul of lost and unclaimed super rules as they are unnecessarily complicated, confusing and not in members’ interests.

14 Oct 2015 - Senate Economics: Trustee Governance Bill inquiry

The Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Trustee Governance) Bill 2015, currently before Parliament, proposes to impose up to one third independent directors on trustee boards.This submission is a response to an inquiry into the Bill at the Senate Economics Legislation Committee. AIST opposes this Bill for a number of reasons: We support flexibility rather than quotas, the international recognition of the equal representation model, real conflicts are ignored, existing regulator powers and the cost of disruption to business and members. Download the full submission here.

9 Oct 2015 - ASIC Industry Funding Model Proposal

Additional funding for ASIC is necessary for it to be a strong and effective regulator, able to fulfil its statutory obligations and community expectations.

28 Sep 2015 - Draft spring repeal day bill

AIST supports the ATO being able to pay superannuation directly to persons with a terminal medical condition, and the eventual removal of the Lost Member Statement, but submits the LMS removal should be delayed by one year in in order to avoid a gap in lost member reporting and improve the quality of reporting. AIST also calls on the Government to simplify and streamline lost, uncontactable and unclaimed legislation.

25 Sep 2015 - Capability review of ASIC

AIST supports this review, however believes that better value would be gained through combining both the capability and funding of ASIC together into a single review. Generally, AIST supports the level of involvement with the industry that ASIC has with industry, however we believe that this could be improved with assistance from Government and better resourcing.

25 Sep 2015 - Capability review of ASIC

AIST supports this review, however believes that better value would be gained through combining both the capability and funding of ASIC together into a single review. Generally, AIST supports the level of involvement with the industry that ASIC has with industry, however we believe that this could be improved with assistance from Government and better resourcing.

18 Sep 2015 - Changes to the SG charge

AIST supports existing measures to ensure members’ contributions are paid in a timely manner. The proposed changes reduce the bases of the SG charge shortfall amount and the nominal interest payable, reducing disincentives to employers. AIST does not support this measure and calls for this to be abandoned.

14 Aug 2015 - Proposed changes to reporting standards for ABS

AIST welcomes the inclusion of reporting items from SRS 730.0 into SRS 330.0, and the removal of SRS 730.0. AIST strongly believes that the suite of ABS reporting forms needs to be finalised in tandem so that funds may more fully gauge implementation impacts. Implementation timeframes of at least 12 months from finalisation of reporting forms is needed.

31 Jul 2015 - Reforms to superannuation governance – APRA

The Government’s proposed changes to trustee board governance include a proposal to mandate one third directors being independent. AIST does not support this proposed change. Instead, AIST supports principles-based regulation that supports flexibility around an industry with distinctly different sectors. We have recommended several changes, including defining the term ‘independent’ in legislation and not providing APRA with the power to make determinations on an individual’s independence.

24 Jul 2015 - Tax discussion paper retirement incomes review

Expanding on our initial submission to the Tax Inquiry, AIST details a process for a robust and evidence-based review of retirement arrangements, involving a summit on the objectives of retirement incomes system, and followed by a detailed and methodical technical review and legislative support. Tools such as the AIST Mercer Super Tracker will be needed to provide measures of success in relation to sustainability, adequacy and fairness – especially to improve the lot of disadvantaged Australians.

23 Jul 2015 - Reforms to superannuation governance

AIST is pleased to respond to this draft legislation and regulations from Treasury, which will introduce a requirement for funds to have a minimum of one third independent directors, and an independent chair. AIST notes the costs involved with this measure, and notes that there is no substantive reason to make changes which arguably will not address real and demonstrated conflicts in board structures. AIST also points out that the changes are being made with some haste that may pose risks, including those to the best interests of members, as well as breaches of the rule of law.

9 Jul 2015 - APRA statistics publication and confidentiality

AIST supports the non-confidentiality of fields contained in SRF 540.0 and 710.0 in the interests of a transparent and competitive industry. AIST also supports the proposals contained in this discussion paper to provide new formats and reports containing superannuation statistics annually, as well as the availability of a data dissemination tool which would be updated frequently.

8 Jul 2015 - Amendments to AML/CTF customer identification rules

AIST broadly supports the proposed amendments to Chapter 4 of the AML/CTF rules which relate to customer identification. We have noted in passing that there will be a cost incurred with the proposed changes to the safe harbour requirements. We also note that we have a preference for these changes not to be retrospective for administrative reasons.

19 Jun 2015 - Changes to assets test

AIST welcomes the inquiry on this Bill. Our comments are limited to Schedule 3 which contains the proposed changes to the assets test. AIST points out that the proposed changes will have a negative impact on fairness in the superannuation system and recommend that changes be considered in the broader contexts of taxation and superannuation.

10 Jun 2015 - Proposed financial institutions supervisory levies for 2015-16

AIST welcomes consultation on the collection of financial levies for 2015-16. AIST comments that the proposed levies paper does not appear to comply with the Government Cost Recovery Guidelines and OECD best practice, and therefore, we are unable to comment on the methodology used for costing the proposed levies. Our recommendations in this submission thus are around consistency, transparency and accountability. We have noted a minor reduction in the levy for 2014-15.

1 Jun 2015 - Response to tax white paper

The Government’s tax discussion paper, “Re:think” provides 66 questions on how to reform Australia’s taxation system. AIST’s submission explores the need for principles and objectives for the superannuation and tax systems aimed at providing fairness, sustainability and certainty to the superannuation system, and asks whether taxation should be considered on its own, or as part of a package which includes age pension means testing.

17 Apr 2015 - Superannuation data collection by APRA and ABS

AIST wishes to thank both APRA and the ABS for their consultation on superannuation data collection for the ABS. AIST strongly recommends that further consultation take place, based on the outcomes of an analysis to be undertaken of the differences and similarities in APRA and ABS reporting, removing reporting duplication, and preparation of a Regulatory Impact Statement. AIST also recommends a longer lead time is necessary.

15 Apr 2015 - APRA: Update on regulatory cost savings

AIST welcomes APRA’s update on its regulatory cost savings program. AIST supports the reviews that have been announced as part of this update, in particular the reviews of audit and ORFR requirements as well as the proposed reviews associated with the reporting framework. We take this opportunity to recommend a regulatory impact statement (RIS) be undertaken for any changes that are eventually recommended.

15 Apr 2015 - Simplifying when a standard choice form is to be provided

AIST supports measures to simplify superannuation administration for employers. Removing the obligation to provide a superannuation choice form to temporary residents is not opposed, but the objective will be more efficiently achieved through the Government’s Single Touch Payroll initiative. Access of temporary residents to superannuation must be maintained, along with measures to avoid the unnecessary duplication of accounts.

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.

18 Mar 2015 - Treasury draft regulations – fairer taxation of excess non-concessional contributions

AIST supports these draft regulations, which give effect to the measure to allow members to withdraw excess non-concessional amounts and associated earnings.

16 Mar 2015 - ASIC Consultation Paper CP 227 – Disclosure and reporting requirements (29QC)

AIST supports ASIC’s proposed class order relief and guidance (Option 1) on s29QC consistency, and proposes measures to improve consumer comprehension and protection through comparable disclosure across all superannuation products.

27 Feb 2015 - RG 97 review – Fee and cost disclosure in PDSs and statements

AIST welcomes ASIC’s review of RG 97 and strongly supports ASIC’s work on improving disclosure of fees and costs. We recommend that RG 97b could be further improved through clarifying interposed vehicles, disclosing actual performance fees, not carving out listed vehicles, prescribing calculation methodologies and aligning with APRA reporting requirements. AIST also supports better disclosure of related party payments and a separate review of insurance disclosure.

26 Feb 2015 - Exposure draft TPB(I) D25/2015 – Sufficient experience for tax (financial) advisers (transitional)

The exposure draft issued by the TPB explains how the Board will interpret ‘sufficient experience’ and ‘competent standard’ for the purposes of registration as a tax (financial) adviser during the transitional period. AIST welcomes this guidance.

26 Feb 2015 - Exposure draft TPB(I) D25/2015 – Relevant experience for tax (financial) advisers

The TPB exposure draft information sheet outlines the relevant experience requirements for registered tax (financial) advisers. AIST supports the requirements as drafted in this sheet and welcomes this as vital guidance.

9 Feb 2015 - 2015-16 Pre-Budget submission

AIST’s pre-budget submission discusses a range of measures that we believe are in the public interest. Issues raised in our submission include improving the fairness of superannuation, reviewing the rules associated with the age of superannuation fund members and the fairness of existing arrangements for employees, as well as the transition to 12% SG. We also raised the question of inconsistencies associated with the financial supervisory levies and recommended an increase in funding to Indigenous identification schemes.

9 Feb 2015 - ASIC – CP 226 – Remaking class orders on secondary services and general advice

AIST strongly endorses the process of sun-setting legislative instruments after 10 years, unless action is taken to review them. While CP226 covers matters which are the subject of various reviews, these are outside the scope of CP226. Accordingly, AIST supports the renewal of CO 05/835, CO 04/1572, CO 04/1573 and CO 05/1195.

30 Jan 2015 - ASIC – CP 224 – Facilitating electronic financial services disclosure

AIST strongly supports the use of electronic disclosure, and would welcome the implementation of options 1-3 as outlined in CP224, including the opportunity to develop more innovative PDSs. AIST estimates that between 25-50% per annum of current communication costs could be saved. AIST recommends that a Working Group be established to help develop greater guidance, including consumer testing outcomes, defining e-addresses and electronic delivery, and refining storage, retrieval and archiving of electronic materials.

19 Jan 2015 - APRA – Draft Prudential Practice Guide SPG 223 Fraud Risk Management

AIST supports practical guidance on fraud risk but this should be consistently provided for banking, insurance and superannuation. The PPG should also address bribery, corruption, IT and outsourcing fraud risk, especially administration-related, in more detail, and provide more clarity about expectations and useful case studies.

17 Dec 2014 - Enhanced register of financial advisers

AIST welcomes these draft regulations as vital to consumers of financial advice. AIST supports the need for an enhanced register of financial advisers. However, we recommend that this be made through legislation rather than by regulation, given the seriousness of lack of proper prescription to protect consumers. We believe that additional information should be required to assist investors, and would support the inclusion of Financial Services Guides (FSGs) as part of the register.

5 Dec 2014 - Scrutiny of financial advice enquiry

AIST welcomes this Senate Economics inquiry into the scrutiny of financial advice. AIST recommends higher education standards, ongoing professional development and independently regulated codes of conduct combined with better resourcing of regulators. Penalties for poor advice should be reviewed to ensure they better repair customer impacts. In light of recent scandals and the lack of consistency, consumers deserve better.

6 Nov 2014 - SuperStream draft regulations - contributions pass-through

AIST supports the regulation of this requirement, and makes suggestions to improve its operation, in particular: - About 31 March 2015 there should be a mechanism allowing the contributions pass through start date of 1 July 2015 to be confirmed or delayed by up to one year. - There should be further, coordinated and consistent practical guidance provided in the explanatory statement and by the ATO. - The regulation should provide a safe harbour from prosecution during its first year of operation.

31 Oct 2014 - Proposed changes to AUSTRAC's annual compliance report

Proposed changes to AUSTRACís annual compliance report Description: Problems with the current annual compliance report have been identified by AUSTRAC. AUSTRACís consultation paper outlines options to address these problems. AISTís submission addresses two of the issues raised in the consultation paper and recommends that the term ìannual earningsî be properly defined, and that AUSTRAC consider a requirement for boards to sign attestations rather than the new proposed annual compliance report.

24 Oct 2014 - Reform of excess non-concessional contributions tax

This consultation contains the exposure draft of legislation which contains reforms to the excess non-concessional contributions tax regime, allowing affected members to withdraw excess amounts.

24 Oct 2014 - TPB(I) 23/2014 – Fee or other reward for tax (financial) advisers

The Tax Practitioners Board has issued this exposure draft information sheet, which outlines how the TPB will interpret the notion of ‘fee or other reward’ for the purposes of registration as a tax (financial) adviser.

24 Oct 2014 - TPB(I) 24/2014 – Sufficient number requirements for tax (financial) advisers

The Tax Practitioners Board has issued this exposure draft information sheet, which outlines the TPB’s interpretation of the requirements for ‘sufficient number’ for the purposes of registration as a tax (financial) adviser.

22 Oct 2014 - Deductibility of contributions involving successor funds

This exposure draft contains a variety of miscellaneous amendments. AIST’s comments in this submission relate solely to the changes which allow members to claim contributions as deductions with successor funds. AIST supports this amendment.

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.

20 Oct 2014 - Certainty for fund mergers

This exposure draft is part of a measure that was announced to proceed by the Government in November 2013. This measure is designed to provide greater certainty for members who are members of a fund that participates in superannuation fund mergers. The measure would clarify that a tax integrity rule will not be triggered when superannuation benefits are rolled over to another fund as part of a merger between funds.

17 Oct 2014 - Draft ASIC Class Order: Disclosure of Fees

AIST is pleased once again to consult with ASIC on the subject of fee and cost disclosure. This round of consultation is public, and relates to a draft Class Order aimed at clarifying the requirements for superannuation and managed investment products. The draft Class Order stems from ASIC’s report REP 398 Fee and cost disclosure.

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.

19 Sep 2014 - Promoting SG compliance – ANAO audit in progress

This is an audit in progress that is presently being undertaken by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO). The objective of the audit is to assess the effectiveness of the ATO to support employers to comply with their SG obligations and identify and deal with those who do not.

19 Sep 2014 - TPB(PG) D04/2015 – Proposed guideline for a course in taxation law

Requirements for financial advisers who are required to register with the Tax Practitioners Board under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 commenced on 1 July 2014. TPB(PG) D04/2014 contains the proposed guidelines that set out the education requirements for registered tax (financial) advisers in taxation law.

19 Sep 2014 - TPB(PG) D05/2015 – Proposed guideline for a course in commercial law

Requirements for financial advisers who are required to register with the Tax Practitioners Board under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 commenced on 1 July 2014.

17 Sep 2014 - Treasury Legislative Amendment – Deregulation

As part of the Government’s deregulation agenda, a variety of measures have been proposed in this exposure draft, relating to taxation, superannuation and shareholdings in certain financial sector companies.

15 Sep 2014 - APRA – Draft reporting standards for select investment options

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has issued a draft reporting standards and Discussion Paper seeking views on reporting standards for all RSE licensees to report information in respect of certain non-MySuper investment options, which are referred to as select investment options.

15 Sep 2014 - Senate Economics – FOFA Amendment Bill_2nd inquiry

This is the second inquiry on a bill before parliament to modify certain parts of the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms that were implemented last year. Changes include amendments to the adviser best interest duties, changes to conflicted remuneration and modifications to grandfathering arrangements.

8 Sep 2014 - Professional, ethical and educational standards of financial advisers - joint submission

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services adopted the inquiry into proposals to lift the professional, ethical and educational standards in the financial services industry.

5 Sep 2014 - Review of retirement incomes

AIST is pleased to respond to the government’s review of retirement incomes. Our response to this review recommends that a broader review of retirement incomes be undertaken involving consideration of tax, tax environments and social security. AIST’s submission points to the issues that there is no perfect retirement income product for all retirees, and recommends that trustees build a strategy that addresses the retirement needs of their members.

29 Aug 2014 - CP 221 – OTC derivatives disclosure

Derivative transaction reporting is the reporting of over-the-counter (OTC) derivative transaction information to trade repositories, and is a key element of the OTC derivatives reform agenda agreed to by the G20.

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.

8 Aug 2014 - Australia’s tax treaty negotiation program

This consultation considers the question of what should be included in future tax treaties between Australia and other countries. Australia’s tax treaties are designed to reduce double taxation and tax avoidance.

10 Jul 2014 - Registration requirements for registered tax (financial) advisers (draft regulations)

On 1 July, the notification period commenced for financial advisers who are required to register with the Tax Practitioners Board. The draft regulations released by Treasury contain the eligibility requirements for registered tax (financial) advisers which will take effect once the notification and transition periods are completed.

13 Jun 2014 - Financial Supervisory Levies 2014-15

Treasury and APRA have released the financial supervisory levies methodology for 2014-15. Proposed changes include changes to the restricted and unrestricted components, as well as to the SuperStream portion.

6 Jun 2014 - National identity proofing guidelines

The Attorney-General’s Department has sought consultation on proposed new identity proofing guidelines designed to outline a best practice, risk-based approach to verifying the identity of a person by government agencies. The guidelines may also be useful for other government agencies, private sector or non-government organisations that undertake functions that require the verification of a person’s identity.

30 May 2014 - APRA: Matters relating to risk management

In May 2014, APRA sent a letter to CEOs of ADIs and general and life companies suggesting changes to prudential standards. AIST’s submission proposes that two of the proposed changes – a definition of the word “ensure”, as well as a reference to materiality with regards to risk management declarations – are appropriate for the superannuation industry as well.

9 May 2014 - Giving effect to the FATCA IGA

In April 2014, the Commonwealth of Australia signed an intergovernmental agreement with the United States of America to improve international tax compliance and implement the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). This exposure draft gives effect to Australia’s obligations under this agreement, under which superannuation providers are generally exempt.

30 Apr 2014 - Senate Economics – FOFA repeal bill

This is an inquiry on a bill before parliament to modify certain parts of the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms that were implemented last year. Changes include amendments to the adviser best interest duties, changes to conflicted remuneration and modifications to grandfathering arrangements.

8 Apr 2014 - Draft regs – Division 293 tax - Calculating notional contributions for defined benefit interests

In 2013, the Government passed the laws relating to Sustaining the Superannuation Contribution Concession. Division 293 included additional tax on contributions for taxpayers earning more than $300,000. These draft regulations include permanent arrangements for members of defined benefit funds through the use of notional taxed contributions to calculate Division 293 tax liabilities.

4 Apr 2014 - ATO – Revised transition schedule SuperStream standard

A revised draft of Schedule 1 – Transitional arrangements to the Superannuation Data and Payment Standards 2012 was made available for consultation, based upon feedback from industry since the release of the first consultation draft in December 2013. This draft builds on the previous draft by providing greater flexibility in arrangements for the transition-in process.

4 Apr 2014 - TPB – TPB(I) D20/2014 What is a tax (financial) advice service?

This draft information sheet has been produced by the Tax Practitioners Board and sets out a guide to assist entities to determine if they are providing a tax (financial) advice service.

4 Apr 2014 - TPB – TPB(EP) D5/2014 Proposed CPE policy for registered tax (financial) advisers

This draft explanatory paper has been produced by the Tax Practitioners Board seeking comments from the industry. The draft sets out the TPB’s proposed CPE requirements for tax (financial) advisers who will be able to register with the TPB from 1 July 2014.

31 Mar 2014 - Initial submission to the Financial System Inquiry

The Financial System Inquiry, chaired by David Murray AO, is charged with examining how the financial system could be positioned to best meet Australia's evolving needs and support Australia's economic growth. AIST’s initial submission examines regulation, the issues of adequacy, sustainability and longevity, diversity and governance, systemic risk, ensuring the system delivers and consideration of post-retirement solutions.

19 Mar 2014 - AUSTRAC – Revised draft AML/CTF rules relating to customer due diligence

In May 2013 a discussion paper titled Consideration of possible enhancements to the requirements for customer due diligence was released. The purpose of that paper was to seek stakeholder views on current industry practice and the need for amendments to Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) customer due diligence (CDD) regime. Revised draft rules have been prepared in response to that discussion paper, and draft rules that were released in late 2013.

28 Feb 2014 - Review of the AML/CTF regime

The operation of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 is required to be periodically reviewed under the Act. This is AIST’s submission to the Attorney-General’s Department to this review.

19 Feb 2014 - ED – FOFA amendments

This package contains exposure drafts of a bill and draft regulations for amending the FOFA changes that were brought in recently. Changes proposed include amending the adviser best interests duty, as well as the removal of opt-in and changes to conflicted remuneration.

12 Feb 2014 - Discussion paper – Regulation, governance, transparency and competition in the superannuation industry

The Assistant Treasurer released this discussion paper in November 2013, the purpose of which is to seek feedback on governance and transparency issues contained in the Government's superannuation election commitments. The paper also provides an opportunity for consultation on opening up competition and increasing transparency in relation to default employee superannuation fund contributions.

7 Feb 2014 - Fair Work Commission 2014 review of default fund terms

Section 156A of the Fair Work Act 2009 requires the Fair Work Commission to conduct a four yearly review of the default fund terms of modern awards starting as soon as practicable after, in effect, 1 January 2014. This is AIST's submission to the current review.

3 Feb 2014 - ASIC: CP 219 – Keeping superannuation websites up to date

This consultation paper from ASIC outlines options for the new requirements of section 29QB of the SIS Act for ensuring that fund websites are kept up to date, including remuneration and proxy voting disclosure.

3 Feb 2014 - Exposure draft: Increases to the Lost Member Small Account Threshold

This exposure draft contains amendments that effect the Government changes to the small lost member account threshold, to $5,000 from 31 December 2015, and to $6,000 from 31 December 2015.

31 Jan 2014 - APRA: Publication and confidentiality of superannuation statistics and data

APRA’s discussion paper details the reasoning behind their proposed publication of statistics, with documented reasoning behind what is considered to be confidential, and non-confidential. AIST’s submission generally supports the proposals made in this paper, however we have made a small number of very minor recommendations.

29 Jan 2014 - ATO: Draft Taxation Ruling TR 2013/D7

This draft ruling considers apportionment, for the purposes of section 8-1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997), of a loss or outgoing incurred by a superannuation entity partly in gaining or producing its assessable income and partly in gaining or producing non-assessable income.

24 Jan 2014 - AUSTRAC: Draft AML/CTF rules relating to customer due diligence

In May 2013 a discussion paper titled Consideration of possible enhancements to the requirements for customer due diligence was released. The purpose of that paper was to seek stakeholder views on current industry practice and the need for amendments to Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) customer due diligence (CDD) regime.

20 Jan 2014 - ATO: Amendments to transitional arrangements, superannuation data and payment standard

This is a consultation draft provided by the ATO, which extends the timeframe for transitional arrangements, and provides an induction process to support the implementation of employer contributions in the Superannuation Data and Payment Standards 2012.

2 Jan 2014 - ATO SIRN: Verification of SMSF members and bank accounts

Submission to the ATO’s Superannuation Industry Relationship Network (SIRN), dealing with the specific issue of enabling super funds to verify both a person’s membership with an SMSF, as well as the bank account that belongs to an SMSF.

2 Jan 2014 - ATO SIRN: New employee engagement process

Submission to the ATO’s Superannuation Industry Relationship Network (SIRN), dealing with the specific issue of integration of ATO forms for TFN declaration, choice of superannuation fund and account consolidation at the time an employee commences work with a new employer.

2 Jan 2014 - ATO SIRN: Transfer of small inactive accounts from the ATO

Submission to the ATO’s Superannuation Industry Relationship Network (SIRN), dealing with the specific issue of transfers of small inactive accounts back to active member accounts.

10 Apr 2019 - Fee and Performance Analysis

AIST has commissioned SuperRatings to examine the differences in fees and returns of profit-to-member funds compared with for-profit funds run mainly by banks. The report shows that the median profit-to-member MySuper has delivered 6.47% pa to members over 3 years – well in excess of the 4.94% per annum by bank and retail-owned super funds – and at substantially lower fees. In the Choice sector, bank and retail-owned funds charge much higher fees than profit-to member funds and generally underperform over both the short and long term.

23 Nov 2018 - Regulatory carve out report

This paper reviews the evidence on the implications of the gaps and exemptions for the governance and performance outcomes of the Australian superannuation industry and focuses upon the causes of poor member outcomes. The remedy of a new regulatory architecture for the superannuation sector and refocusing of institutions and products upon the long-term interests of beneficiaries is compelling.

23 Mar 2017 - International investment disclosure trends

This research identifies and collates international best practice trends in the disclosure of fees and costs applying to investment managers and superannuation funds in major capital markets.

1 Mar 2017 - Fee and performance analysis

AIST has commissioned SuperRatings to examine what consumers are getting from profit-to-member superannuation funds when compared with superannuation funds run for profit (mainly by banks). This research examines over 5,000 investment options and fees, investment returns, and whether the investments underlying the investments are comparable. This report also examines a comparison with a similar report undertaken in 2015 and finds that Choice investment options have remained relatively unchanged regarding fee structures. Choice investment options in the for-profit sector (mainly run by banks) generally provide lower investment returns than the profit-to-member funds and are between 53% to 280% more expensive.

2 Feb 2017 - Global operations of pension systems

This research examines the objectives of various pension systems around the world, the metrics used to measure their success, and whether there are processes in place for pension reform.

1 Dec 2016 - RG97: Disclosing fees and costs

This report examines how RG97 addresses the key objectives of providing consumer protection, the impact RG97 may have on asset allocations, and examines specific RG97 issues associated with estimations of costs.

15 Sep 2015 - Modelling of superannuation tax proposals

AIST and Mercer have developed the Super Tracker to assess the progress of Australia’s retirement income system based on the available evidence and to make important contributions to the discussion about the system’s ongoing development including the fairness of taxation arrangements. This paper focuses on how the Australian super system stacks up on fairness, adequacy, and sustainability.

15 Dec 2014 - Superannuation projections: A discussion paper

AIST commissioned research to consider the design and regulatory treatment of superannuation projections. The aim of the research was to explore how the value of static superannuation projections to members can be improved. The research also examines interactive superannuation calculators by way of comparison with static superannuation projections.

15 Jul 2014 - Navigating the new MySuper landscape

AIST commissioned RiceWarner to examine the extent MySuper has delivered on its promise of improved retirement incomes, the characteristics of common MySuper investment solutions, the differences and similarities between MySuper products and "lookalike" products, and emerging trends in the evolution of MySuper products.