ASIC announced on 29 November 2016, that it will be extending the transition period for trustees of superannuation funds and responsible entities of managed schemes to comply with updated fee and cost disclosure requirements in relation to product disclosure statements as described in the current version of ASIC Regulatory Guide RG 97: Disclosing fees and costs in PDSs and periodic statements.

The extension has come about in response to industry concerns that a requirement of compliance by the current 1 February 2017 deadline could result in unreliable information that does not help consumers in comparing fees and costs.

The transition period has been extended to 30 September 2017 for issuers that notify ASIC in writing before 31 January 2017 that they intend to take advantage of the extension. Any issuer who does not inform ASIC of an intention to take advantage of the extension will have to comply with the updated requirements by 1 February 2017.

As a condition of the extension, those opting in will also be required to provide ASIC before 1 March 2017 with an update on the information about fees and costs that they would have been required to include in any relevant PDS had they been compliant by the February deadline. ASIC has imposed this obligation to ensure that issuers continue to take steps towards compliance.

ASIC will not take enforcement action based on errors in the information provided to ASIC unless the issuer is intentionally providing non-compliant information, has failed to take reasonable care or is not taking reasonable steps towards compliance.

ASIC has announced that it will shortly amend ASIC class order 14/1252 to give effect to this announcement. It will also publish instructions and forms for issuers taking advantage of the extension to provide ASIC with the requested update.

This article was written with the assistance of Will Francis, Law Graduate.