The Lander & Rogers Superannuation Alert is a brief overview of new developments in the superannuation industry.
- On 16 February 2015, the Corporations Amendment (Register of Relevant Providers) Regulation 2015 (Cth) (Regulation) was registered. The Regulation amends the Corporations Regulations 2001 (Cth) to establish a register of financial advisers, known as the Register of Relevant Providers (Register). The Regulation commences on 17 February 2015. According to the Explanatory Statement, the purpose of the Regulation 'is to create a public register of all natural persons providing personal advice on more complex products to retail clients under a licence' (referred to as 'relevant providers'). The Explanatory Statement further explains that the Register enables consumers to verify that their individual financial adviser is authorised to provide advice and to find out more information about them (eg, education, qualifications, membership of professional bodies and recent advising history).
- On 16 February 2015, the Corporations (Fees) Amendment (Register of Relevant Providers) Regulation 2015 (Cth)(Regulation) was also registered. The Regulation amends that Corporations (Fees) Regulations 2001 (Cth). The main amendments will commence on 3 March 2015. The Explanatory Statement explains that the Regulation allows ASIC to charge Australian Financial Services Licensees a fee when providing information to be included in the Register of Relevant Providers (see above). According to the Explanatory Statement, the Regulation also seeks to harmonise the Register of Relevant Provider's fees and the Authorised Representative Register's fees to enable licensees to lodge information on a single form and only be charged a single fee when providing ASIC with information regarding the same person.
- On 12 February 2015, the Victorian Court of Appeal's decision of Australasian Annuities Pty Ltd (in liq) v Rowley Super Fund Pty Ltd  VSCA 9 (12 February 2015) was handed down. The appeal concerned an action for knowing receipt and restitution, brought by Australasian Annuities Pty Ltd (in liq) (AA) against Rowley Super Fund Pty Ltd (RSF). The action concerned circumstances where funds were diverted from AA to a superannuation fund of which RSF was the corporate trustee, and the claim arose after AA failed to repay moneys advanced to it by a bank in 2007. AA sought to recover payments, which it alleged were diverted in breach of fiduciary duties owed by AA’s sole director. The Court considered, amongst other things, whether RSF, as the corporate trustee of the superannuation fund, was a volunteer when it received the funds. The Court of Appeal held that the trial judge did not err in finding that RSF had not given valuable consideration for the receipt of funds and was not a volunteer.
- On 13 February 2015, the ATO issued ATO Interpretative Decision (ATO ID 2015/7) "Income tax/Superannuation Foreign currency translation rules in working out 'applicable fund earnings' under section 305-75 of the ITAA 1997". The ATO decided that, for the purposes of working out an individual's "applicable fund earnings" in relation to a superannuation lump sum under section 305-75 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth), the correct rule for translating foreign currency into AUD is the rule described in Item 11A of the table in subsection 960-50(6) of that Act - that is, each amount in a foreign currency that is an element in the calculation of "applicable fund earnings" is to be translated to AUD at the exchange rate applicable at the time of receipt of the relevant superannuation lump sum.