The Lander & Rogers Superannuation Alert is a brief overview of new developments in the superannuation industry.
- On 21 October 2015, the Financial Ombudsman Service Australia (FOS) released its "2014-2015 Annual Review". The report notes that in 2014-2015, FOS accepted 330 disputes regarding superannuation and that "most of these disputes were about retail funds (40%) and self-managed funds (28%)." The report explains that the "increase in disputes about superannuation was driven by issues involving retail funds…[and] more than half (56%) of the disputes about retail funds were about failure to follow instructions/agreement, service quality, inappropriate advice and incorrect fees/costs."
- On 5 November 2015, the Treasurer, the Honourable Scott Morrison, released a speech he presented to the Economic and Social Outlook Conference titled "A National Platform for Economic Growth and Jobs". In his speech, the Treasurer notes (among other things) that the Prime Minister has "made it clear that areas of commonwealth taxes such as generous superannuation concessions are…under the microscope as well as broader tax integrity measures".
- On 10 November 2015, the Senate Economics Legislation Committee tabled its report on the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Trustee Governance) Bill 2015 in the Senate, recommending that the Bill be passed by the Senate. The report explains that in the Committee's view, the Bill "contains provisions designed to ensure that superannuation funds have the flexibility to select independent directors who have the relevant skillset to aid fund performance, and which brings governance of regulated superannuation funds in line with international best practice standards of corporate governance…[and] will allow superannuation fund boards to draw from a broader pool of independent directors, increasing diversity." The Committee also notes that concerns were raised in relation to "unintended consequences regarding representation of members' interests and added costs, but believes that the bill contains mechanisms to address these risks."
- On 10 November 2015, the ATO released a website update explaining that it will be granting a "one month deferral of the due date for super funds to lodge their full lost member statement re-report…[which means that] this statement for the period ending 31 December 2015 will now be due on or before 31 May 2016."
- On 11 November 2015, the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Amendment Instrument 2015 (No. 2) was registered. According to the Explanatory Statement, the Instrument amends the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Instrument 2007 (No.1) by:
- adding a new Part 4.14 to extend the application of the existing exemptions in relation to carrying out identification of customers to the identification of beneficial owners and politically exposed persons of the customer; and
- amending Chapter 11 to "extend the existing exemption for registered remittance network providers and registered remittance affiliates to cover the 2015 AML/CTF compliance reporting obligations".