The Lander & Rogers Superannuation Alert is a brief overview of new developments in the superannuation industry.
On 7 March 2018, APRA re-issued its Quarterly Superannuation Performance report. According to the report, as at the end of the December 2017 quarter, superannuation assets totalled $2.615 trillion (up 10% from $2.375 trillion in December 2016), of which:
|ASIC Guidance on AFCA||
On 5 March 2018, ASIC released an updated draft of Oversight of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority: Update to RG 139 for public consultation.
It is anticipated that the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) will start accepting complaints by no later than 1 November 2018. Steps to assist in the current transitionary period will include the authorisation of AFCA, which will be undertaken by the Minister for Financial Services Kelly O'Dwyer, and the AFCA Board's consultation in relation to the scheme's terms of reference.
ASIC anticipates that the consultation will "give clarity to stakeholders about [its] proposed approach and to minimise the overlap between this consultation and other processes leading up to the commencement of AFCA". ASIC is seeking feedback on its approach to:
Until AFCA begin to accept complaints, ASIC will retain its oversight of the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Credit and Investments Ombudsman. Public consultation has already begun on the proposed reforms. Responses are due by 6 April 2018.
|ATO||Key rates and thresholds for 2018/2019||
On 2 March 2018, the ATO released the latest key rates and thresholds that apply to contributions and benefits, employment termination payments, super guarantee, and co-contributions.
|Federal Parliament||AFCA Bill receives Royal Assent||
On 5 March 2018, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Consumers First—Establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority) Bill 2017 received Royal Assent and is now Act No. 13 of 2018. This legislation establishes a new external dispute resolution framework (EDR) and an enhanced internal dispute resolution framework for the financial system. The Australian Financial Complaints Authority will replace the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal and the existing EDR schemes approved by ASIC.
|Treasury||Draft regulations released for early release of superannuation on compassionate grounds||Exposure Draft Regulations||
On 21 February 2018, Treasury released Exposure Draft - Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. x) Regulations 2018 (Exposure Draft Regulations) as well as the accompanying Explanatory Statement.
The purpose of the exposure draft regulations is to amend the Retirement Savings Accounts Regulations 1997 No. 116 (Cth) and the Superannuation Industry Supervision) Regulations 1994 No. 57 (Cth) in order to "improve the integrity of the processes under which benefits are released on compassionate grounds by superannuation entities or retirement savings account (RSA) providers, to their members".
The amendments require the Regulator (now the Commissioner of Taxation) to give a copy of its written determination to both the member who applied, and thetrustee of the superannuation entity or RSA provider.