This week’s Super Alert notes a Senate Committee’s approval of the SG Amnesty Bill, ASIC’s new Regulatory Guide for whistleblower policies and publications from APRA in relation to life insurance claims and its data transformation project.
APRA opens phase 1 of ‘Superannuation Data Transformation’ project for consultation
On 7 November 2019, APRA released two documents in relation to its ‘Superannuation Data Transformation’ project. The first is a discussion paper entitled ‘Phase 1: Superannuation Data Transformation’ and the second is a topic paper entitled ‘RSE Structure and Profile’. According to APRA, due to the ‘scale and complexity’ of the project, it has been split into three phases and this first phase ‘will address the most urgent gaps in APRA’s data collection, particularly for choice products and investment options’.
Submissions on the topic paper close on 17 January 2020. APRA has advised that it ‘intends to respond to Phase 1 of the consultation and finalise changes to its reporting standards by mid-2020’.
Senate Committee recommends that SG Amnesty Bill be passed
On 7 November 2019, the Senate Economics Legislation Committee released its report in relation to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Recovering Unpaid Superannuation) Bill 2019. As referred to in our Super Alert of 20 September 2019, the Bill proposes to introduce the superannuation guarantee amnesty for employers to encourage self-correction of historical superannuation guarantee non-compliance.
The Committee recommended that the Bill be passed without amendment and that the ATO ‘develop and implement a communication strategy to maximise employer awareness and engagement with the superannuation guarantee amnesty’.
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ASIC Regulatory Guide in relation to whistleblower policies
On 13 November 2019, ASIC released Regulatory Guide 270: Whistleblower policies (RG 270) in order to ‘assist companies [including trustees of registrable superannuation entities] meet their obligation to have a whistleblower policy [under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)] … by 1 January 2020′.
RG 270 include guidance in relation to:
- ‘the matters that must be addressed by an entity’s whistleblower policy’;
- ‘examples of content for a whistleblower policy, which entities can adapt to their circumstances’; and
- ‘good practice guidance on implementing and maintaining a whistleblower policy’.
Regulators release latest data on life insurance claims
On 13 November 2019, APRA released its ‘Life Insurance Claims and Disputes Statistics’ in relation to the 2018/19 financial year, which includes statistics in relation to group policies through superannuation funds.
According to APRA’s media release ‘the data is the product of a world-leading joint project between APRA and [ASIC], aimed at making it easier to compare life insurers’ performance in handling claims and disputes’. The information is available in a ‘consumer-friendly’ format on the ASIC MoneySmart website.
APRA Letter: Putting Members’ Interests First Legislative Amendments – Implementation
On 14 November 2019, APRA released a letter to all RSE licensees providing guidance on implementation of the ‘Putting Members’ Interests First’ legislation. APRA notes as follows: ‘To assist industry, APRA has developed Frequently Asked Questions to provide general guidance on the reforms and has established a dedicated email address, PMIF@apra.gov.au, to which any specific implementation questions can be directed.’ The FAQs contain 9 questions and answers.
This article was written by Natalie Cambrell, Partner, Sanela Osmanovic, Associate and Joseph Cheung, Solicitor.