• On 16 December 2013, the ATO released Self-managed super funds: A statistical overview 2011-12 which provides a statistical summary of the self-managed superannuation funds industry, including information about the growth of the sector, SMSF management, member demographics and investment performance. 
  • On 20 December 2013, Treasurer Joe Hockey announced the final terms of reference for the federal government's Financial System Inquiry and the appointment of four members to serve on the Inquiry panel. Mr Hockey announced that submissions to the Inquiry will open shortly. An interim report will be released and there will be a second round of submissions before the Inquiry makes its final report by November 2014. 
  • On 20 December 2013, ASIC confirmed its "facilitative approach" to the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms until mid-2014 focusing on education and assistance. It notes that it will take enforcement action where there are deliberate breaches of the new requirements or failure to make reasonable efforts to comply. ASIC has also confirmed that it will not take enforcement action in relation to the specific FoFA provisions that the government is planning to repeal. It will review and consult on its regulatory guides on FoFA once the proposed amendments have been made.
  • On 20 December 2013, the Australian Accounting Standards Board approved a proposed new Standard applying to superannuation entities. The Board said the final Standard will replace AAS 25 Financial Reporting by Superannuation Plans and it is expected to apply to annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 July 2016. Comments are due by 28 February 2014.
  • On 23 December 2013, APRA updated its Frequently Asked Questions on the superannuation reporting framework to include the following FAQs: 
    •  FAQ 78: How should the statement of fees and costs, which is required to be included on the MySuper product dashboard and reported in item 4 on Reporting Form SRF 700.0 Product Dashboard be calculated both for the 31 December 2013 submission and on an ongoing basis? 
    •  FAQ 79: Appendix B to APRA’s recent discussion paper, ‘Publication of superannuation statistics and confidentiality of superannuation data’, does not include SRF 114.0, SRF 114.1, SRF 160.0, SRF 160.1, SRF 700.0, SRF 702.0, SRF 703.0 in the list of forms to be covered by the determination. Does APRA intend to make data collected on these forms non-confidential?
  • On 30 December 2013, a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) handed down its decision regarding changes required to be made to modern awards pursuant to provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 concerning superannuation. The FWC said that its determinations arising from this decision will, where relevant, make amendments to modern awards. Following this decision, the FWC Full Bench also issued a Schedule of determinations varying all modern awards to give effect to ss.149A and 155A and clauses 10 and 11 of Schedule 1 of the Fair Work Act 2009.
  • On 8 January 2014, APRA released its Annual Superannuation Bulletin - June 2013, a statistical publication providing information on the industry during the year to 30 June 2013.
  • On 8 January 2014, APRA released the following publications which contain performance information for APRA-regulated superannuation funds covering the ten year period from 2004 to 2013:
  • On 9 January 2014, the Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos announced that the ATO will take over the running of the Small Business Clearing House, a free online service that helps small businesses meet their superannuation obligations and reduce the cost of compliance. 
  • On 15 January 2014, a consultation draft of Schedule 1 – Transitional arrangements to the Superannuation Data and Payment Standards 2012 was released by the ATO. Comments on the documents were due on 20 January 2014.
  • The decision of the Victorian Supreme Court in Wooster v Morris [2013] VSC 594 was recently released, in which the Court upheld the validity of a superannuation binding death benefit nomination and held that the surviving trustee of the self-managed superannuation fund was personally liable to pay the death benefit.