Publications

Super Alert – 12 April 2019

This week’s Super Alert covers an AAT superannuation decision, ASIC’s latest enforcement report, the registration of the Protecting Your Super and AFCA Cooperation regulations and a letter from the regulators in relation to member fees.

AAT judgement in relation to reviewable APRA decisions

On 12 March 2019, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal handed down its decision in Steidler v Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Taxation) [2019] AATA 601. Although the case predominately concerned the status of an SMSF as a complying fund, the case provides guidance in relation to the meaning of the phrase “reviewable decision” under section 344 of the SIS Act. If APRA make a decision under the SIS Act, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal only has jurisdiction if that decision is a “reviewable decision” within the meaning of section 344.

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Protecting Your Super regulations registered

On 5 April 2019, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Regulations 2019 were registered on the Federal Register of Legislation. The Regulations are effective from 1 July 2019 and including the following:

  • Disclosure and notification obligations for inactive member accounts;
  • Details in relation to the administration of the low-balance fee cap; and
  • Directions to the ATO in relation to consolidating inactive amounts for a member who has more than one active account.

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AFCA cooperation regulations registered

On 5 April 2019, the Treasury Laws Amendment (AFCA Cooperation) Regulations 2019 were registered on the Federal Register of Legislation. The Regulations prescribe the obligations which apply to financial firms that are members of AFCA. According to the Explanatory Statement, these include an obligation to:

  • “Take reasonable steps to cooperate with AFCA to resolve any complaint”;
  • “Give reasonable assistance to AFCA and to identify, locate and provide documents and information to AFCA that are reasonably required for AFCA to resolve complaints”; and
  • “Give effect to any determination made by AFCA”.

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Choice product dashboard start date deferred

On 5 April 2019, the ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2019/240 was registered on the Federal Register of Legislation. This Instrument defers the start date for choice product dashboards until 1 July 2023.

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Superannuation Bills receive Royal Assent

On 5 April 2019, the following superannuation Bills received Royal Assent:

  • Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No. 1) Bill 2019 which is now Act no. 49 of 2019;
  • Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No 1) Bill 2017 which is now Act no. 40 of 2019; and
  • Treasury Laws Amendment (Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Powers) Bill 2018 which is now Act no. 50 of 2019.

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ASIC enforcement report for July to December 2018

On 9 April 2019, ASIC released report 615 entitled “ASIC Enforcement Update – July to December 2018”. According to the report from July to December 2018 ASIC:

  • Imposed $12.7 million in civil penalties through the courts;
  • Issued 12 infringement notices;
  • Obtained 9 court enforceable undertakings; and
  • Completed 57 investigations.

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Joint APRA and ASIC letter in relation to member fees

On 10 April 2019, ASIC and APRA issued a joint letter to all RSEs in relation to superannuation fees charged to member accounts. According to the regulators, the purpose of the letter is “to reinforce the importance of superannuation trustees undertaking appropriate oversight of fees and other charges being deducted from members’ superannuation accounts for payments to third parties”.

The regulators “expect all trustees to be reviewing the robustness of their existing governance and assurance arrangements for fees” and complete these reviews by the end of June. The letter puts forward four questions which trustees should consider in determining whether their processes are appropriate.

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This alert was written by Natalie Cambrell, Partner, Damian Tarulli, Special Counsel and Sanela Osmanovic, Associate.

Natalie Cambrell

P: +61 3 8644 3754

E: ncambrell@hwle.com.au

Damian Tarulli

P: +61 7 3169 4832

E: dtarulli@hwle.com.au

Important Disclaimer: The material contained in this publication is of a general nature only and is based on the law as of the date of publication. It is not, nor is intended to be legal advice. If you wish to take any action based on the content of this publication we recommend that you seek professional advice.