APRA to review Stronger Super reform prudential framework

APRA has announced it has begun a ‘post-implementation’ review of the superannuation prudential framework changes in the 2013 Stronger Super reforms.

“The aim of the review is to ensure the prudential and reporting standards, and related guidance, have achieved their objectives and continue to remain fit for purpose,” said APRA.

APRA said its objective in this review was “neither to weaken nor strengthen the prudential framework”.

“APRA will, however, consider changes to the prudential framework to address any gaps identified or issues raised during the review process to improve its effectiveness.” Read more...

APRA sets out superannuation policy priorities for 2018

APRA has outlined its superannuation policy priorities for 2018, including a comprehensive post-implementation review of the superannuation prudential and reporting framework.

“Promoting improved governance and management in the superannuation sector is an ongoing priority for APRA, and one which has seen enhanced focus during the last year across APRA’s supervision and policy-making activities,” says an APRA information paper on its policy priorities for the new year.

In December APRA started consulting on a package of proposed changes to the prudential regulation of large superannuation funds. This includes annual reporting on outcomes for members using a broader range of measures, expenditure policies and easier opt-out of insurance. Read more...

APRA proposes super fund regulation changes, “independent” of Government

APRA is consulting on changes to prudential regulation of large superannuation funds, proposals which it says are independent but aligned with changes put forward by the Government.

“The package outlines proposed changes to the prudential framework designed to enhance strategic and business planning, oversight of fund expenditure and the assessment of outcomes for members of registrable superannuation entities (RSEs),” said APRA.

“This is the second stage of an extensive consultation process, which commenced in August with the release of a letter to industry outlining APRA’s intentions, followed by several roundtable discussions with key industry stakeholders.” Read more...

APRA to target poor performing super funds in prudential changes

APRA will be targeting poor performing superannuation funds in upcoming changes to prudential regulation.

APRA Deputy Chairman Helen Rowell told the 2017 ASFA Conference that the regulator would soon be releasing for consultation a package of proposed prudential framework revisions, including “changes to promote greater transparency, especially around expenditure, and implement member outcomes assessments for all funds.”

“The changes proposed in our upcoming consultation package are designed to put pressure on poor performers – irrespective of industry segment – to lift their game or, if the needed improvement is not possible within a reasonable timeframe, to gracefully exit the industry,” Rowell told the conference. Read more...

APRA puts under-performing super funds on notice

APRA has put under-performing superannuation funds on notice and plans to meet with these funds, after raising the option of them shutting down.

APRA says it has identified some super funds which appear to not be consistently delivering “quality member outcomes”, based on an analysis of all super funds under its supervision.

This leads APRA to “question whether these RSE [Registrable Superannuation Entities] licensee’s business operations are appropriately positioned for future effectiveness and sustainability in an increasingly competitive industry environment”. The regulator does not name these super funds. Read more...

APRA has concerns over super fund conflicts of interest

APRA, conflicts of interest, RSE licensees (Registrable Superannuation Entity), super fundsAPRA has written to RSE (Registrable Superannuation Entity) licensees with concerns around the management of conflicts of interest.

The letter reveals that in 2014 APRA conducted a review to “assess how the superannuation industry was implementing SPS 521 [Superannuation Prudential Standard: Conflicts of Interest] requirements relating to managing conflicts of interest.”

APRA starts to release MySuper statistics

APRA MySuper statisticsARPA has started to release MySuper superannuation fund statistics. According to APRA there are 116 MySuper products, holding total assets of $ 363.2 billion.

“The statistics provide a central source of information on MySuper products and support the broader transparency objectives of the Stronger Super reforms,” said APRA member Helen Rowell.

This release of statistics covers the September 2013, December 2013, March 2014 and June 2014 quarters. APRA has a duty under the SIS Act to publish quarterly MySuper Statistics, including “fees charged, costs incurred and net returns”.

Government sets out expectations for ATO, ASIC, APRA

Government expectation ATO, ASIC, APRAThe Government has issued a ‘statement of expectations’ to many of the regulatory bodies, including the ATO, ASIC and APRA. These statements outline “the Government’s expectations about the role and responsibilities” of the regulatory bodies.

While acknowledging that the regulatory bodies need to act “independently and objectively”, the Government expects that they will “take into account the Government’s broad policy framework, including its deregulation agenda”.

This includes the expectation the bodies will “look for opportunities to reduce compliance costs for business and the community” to contribute to the Government’s $1 billion “red and green tape reduction target”. They are also expected to make a “major contribution to the deregulation agenda and help to boost productivity”.