On 25 February 2014, a meeting of the Federal Government cleared the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No 1) Bill 2014 for introduction in the Federal Parliament. It is understood that the Bill contains amendments to give the ATO the power to impose penalties and direct SMSF trustees to rectify contraventions and undertake education when they have contravened superannuation legislation.
- On 21 February 2014, in a speech at the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA) Conference, the Commissioner of ASIC, Greg Tanzer, made a number of announcements including:
- ASIC will not be prescribing a minimum account balance for the establishment of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs). Mr Tanzer stated that, instead, ASIC intends to explore further a requirement for "clear, detailed disclosure of set up, ongoing and exit costs, and a comparison of these costs with the cost of remaining in an APRA-regulated fund".
- Noting the Government's proposed amendments to the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) regime announced in December 2013, Mr Tanzer said ASIC will extend its facilitative approach "should the need arise due to the timing of the introduction of the amendments". He said it was not ASIC's intention to take a technical legalistic approach where there is uncertainty.
On 21 February 2014, the Assistant Treasurer issued a media release announcing that for a period of two years only the ATO will have stewardship of the SuperStream gateway network. The ATO will convene a governance group including gateway operators, superannuation funds and employer representatives to oversee the SuperStream gateway network. The ATO will also facilitate an industry agreement on the design of a self-regulated, industry finance governance body.
- APRA has issued or updated the following FAQs in relation to the Reporting Framework for Superannuation:
- FAQ 80: The instructions on reporting asset listing of cash and fixed income on SRF 530.1 appear to require clarification. What is the asset listing of these items? (New)
- FAQ 81: To what extent should reporting on SRF 600.0 affect remuneration information required to be disclosed for the purposes of ASIC's requirements? (New)
- FAQ 30: What are the look-through reporting requirements on SRF 530.1? (Updated)
- FAQ 40: Does item 3.3 on SRF 610.0 (relating to "both taxed and tax-free phase") refer to a member having both a super member account (accumulation phase) and a pension member account (retirement phase)? (Updated)
- FAQ 77: How should a "lost member" be defined for the purposes of reporting conditions of release on Reporting Form SRF 710.0 Conditions of Release? (Updated)