The Lander & Rogers Superannuation Alert is a brief overview of new developments in the superannuation industry.
- On 15 September 2016, ASIC published Regulatory Guide 256 Client review and remediation conducted by advice licensees. According to the accompanying media release, the Guide provides 'guidance on review and remediation conducted by Australian financial services (AFS) licensees providing personal advice to retail clients'. The media release quotes ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell as saying that, 'ASIC wants to ensure that advice licensees proactively address any systemic problems caused by their conduct and, where necessary, put processes in place to remediate their clients for loss suffered in a way that is timely, fair and transparent'. The media release also states that, '[w]hile the guidance is directed at licensees who provide personal advice to retail clients, review and remediation takes place in many other sectors of the financial services industry….[the] principles set out in the guidance should be applied to other review and remediation where relevant'.
- On 16 September 2016, the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 received Royal Assent, following the release of the Economics Legislation Committee report on 14 September 2016, in which the Committee recommended that the Bill be passed. The legislation implements a number of budget saving measures, which are explained in the various explanatory materials to the Bill, including the Revised Explanatory Memorandum. The main superannuation-related measure is the introduction of a new reporting framework, known as Single Touch Payroll (STP), to commence on 1 July 2018 for 'substantial employers'. According to the Revised EM, STP reporting will 'automatically provide payroll and superannuation information to the Commissioner of Taxation…at the time it is created', and entities that report under STP will not have to comply with a number of existing reporting obligations.
The Revised EM also explains that the Bill contains STP-related amendments to streamline an employer's payroll and 'superannuation choice processes' by allowing the Australian Taxation Office to 'pre-fill and validate employee information' (including the employee's tax file number).
- On 19 September 2016, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre Industry Contribution Determination 2016 (No.1) was registered. As explained in the accompanying Explanatory Statement, the Determination determines the amount of the instalments payable in the 2016/2017 financial year for the levy payable by entities regulated and supervised by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). The purpose of the levy is to recover the costs of the performance of AUSTRAC’s regulatory and intelligence functions.
- On 20 September 2016, the Productivity Commission released an Issues Paper entitled 'Superannuation: Alternative Default Models'. According to the Commission, the paper was released 'to assist participants in preparing a submission to the public inquiry into Superannuation Alternative Default Models' and it 'outlines a range of issues about which the Commission is seeking information'.
- The paper provides, among other things, that the scope of the inquiry is to 'examine alternative models for a formal competitive process for allocating default fund members in the superannuation system to products and to develop a workable model, or models, that could be implemented by Government if a new model for allocating default fund members to products is desirable'.
Initial submissions are due by 28 October 2016, with opportunity for further comment upon release of the draft report in March 2017.