Delay to super fund disclosure “disgraceful”, will hurt consumers: AIST

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has criticised further delays to super fund disclosure requirements as “disgraceful”, warning that the delays will negatively impact retirement outcomes for members.

Earlier this week ASIC announced that consumer disclosure requirements for Choice (non-default) super products were being further delayed by up to four years, until 1 July 2023.

Related: Super fund Choice product dashboards delayed until 2023

The Product Dashboards for Choice products were part of the Stronger Super reforms, and involve standardised disclosure of fees and performance. They were meant to start in 2015. But ASIC has delayed the start date four times, saying the regulations required to give effect to the requirements have not yet been made.

Super funds already have to provide Product Dashboards for MySuper (default) products.

AIST said the new delay was a “further setback” for the disclosure requirements.

“Without this disclosure it is extremely difficult for members who aren’t in default funds to compare their fund’s performance with other funds.”

AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck said the delay was a “significant blow” for members in underperforming Choice funds, as they would “remain in the dark about their fund’s performance”.

“This delay is disgraceful. In a post-Royal Commission environment, we should be prioritising action to help consumers get out of underperforming funds. Kicking the can down the road another four years is unacceptable,” said Ms Scheerlinck.

“Currently, members of many underperforming ‘Choice’ super products have no way of knowing how their fund compares to industry benchmarks.”

“Waiting another four years to get disclosure right could mean another four years of dud returns for the members affected.”

“In the 21st century we should be able to shine a light on underperformance.”

AIST points to the Productivity Commission report on superannuation, which recommended that ASIC should “prioritise the implementation of these dashboards for choice investment options to achieve full compliance by the end of 2019”.

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