ASIC allows more time for updated super fund fee and cost disclosure

ASIC has extended the transition period for the trustees of large superannuation funds to comply with updated fee and cost disclosure requirements, a move welcomed by ASFA.

ASIC announced that it has extended the transition period for super fund trustees, among others, to comply with the updated fee and cost disclosure requirements for Product Disclosure Statements (PDSs).

“ASIC has extended the transition period in response to applications from industry associations which had raised concerns that information provided for some products by an earlier date may not be reliable and may not assist consumers in comparing fees and costs,” said ASIC.

Though the ASIC statement also said the regulator had reminded the industry associations that there has been a “significant transition period” and that this extension is “final”.

“The transition period will now end by 30 September 2017 for issuers that notify ASIC in writing by 31 January 2017 that they intend to take advantage of this extension in relation to a PDS, and provide ASIC, before 1 March 2017, information about the fees and costs that would be required to be included in this PDS had they complied with the updated fees and costs disclosure requirements.”

ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said: “ASIC is committed to ensuring that fees and costs disclosure is accurate, and provided on a consistent basis, to assist consumers when making decisions about their superannuation and managed investments.”

‘We have agreed to an extension of the transition period to ensure that consumers can rely on more accurate information when issuers comply with our guidance.”

The extension has been welcomed by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), with CEO Dr Martin Fahy calling the extension “sensible”.

“I applaud ASIC for adopting a reasonable approach to compliance timelines, given the implementation issues the industry is facing,” he said.

“This is a complex and detailed area of regulation, which is proving difficult to apply in some areas and where there are still some uncertainties.”

“This extension is a practical and welcome response from ASIC and will greatly assist the industry to increase transparency.”

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