ASIC to review RG 97 super fund fee disclosure rules

ASIC has announced a review of the recently implemented RG 97 rules for disclosing super fund fees and costs.

ASIC’s Regulatory Guide 97 Disclosing fees and costs in PDSs and periodic statements took affect on 1 October 2017.

The regulator says it will work with an external expert to conduct a review of RG 97, “to ensure that it is best meeting in practice the objective of greater transparency for consumers”.

This external expert will consider the impact of RG 97, liase with industry and make recommendations. This process is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018.

“ASIC is undertaking these actions in response to feedback from across the industry around challenges with the practical implementation of RG 97.”

“ASIC has been pleased that funds have been investing in improving fee disclosure, but ASIC recognises that accurate fee and cost disclosure is complex to implement, and that this implementation takes time. ASIC will continue  to work with industry to make sure that disclosure works for consumers.”

ASIC also announced that it’s “facilitative compliance approach to fee and cost disclosure” would now extend beyond 30 September.

The RG 97 rules have come under criticism recently, in particular from Industry Super Australia – which called on the Government to delay the introduction of the new rules.

Chant West found that fees reported by superannuation funds have jumped since RG 97 started, though this is likely more accurate reporting instead of an actual change in costs. While the firm welcomed aspects of the changes it also said RG97 created “distortion” in how fees relating to property investments were reported, something of particular concern to industry funds.

The review has been welcomed by the  Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST).

“It’s great to see that ASIC has taken on board industry feedback on RG 97 and recognises the importance of the issues we have raised,” said AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck.

“We look forward to working with ASIC and the external expert to review these disclosure requirements and ensure they are meaningful for consumers.”

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