Disclosure requirements for superannuation trustees: s29QC

This information sheet gives guidance about particular disclosure requirements for superannuation trustees. Specifically, it covers the requirements in s29QC, which will be inserted into the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) by the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Further MySuper and Transparency Measures) Act 2012 (Stronger Super reforms).

What are the disclosure requirements?

In broad terms, under s29QC, if you are a registrable superannuation entity (RSE) licensee and you provide information that is calculated in a particular way to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) under a reporting standard made under the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001, and you give the same or equivalent information to another person, you must ensure that this information is calculated in the same way as the information you gave to APRA.

ASIC is responsible for administering this provision under the SIS Act.

When does s29QC commence?

Section 29QC commences on 1 July 2013.

What does this mean for trustees?

This is a significant change to the disclosure requirements for superannuation trustees. The reforms are designed to improve the comparability of superannuation products by requiring consistency in how information is calculated. Given the importance of superannuation in the retirement savings system, consistency and transparency are appropriate.

In practice, this means the following:

  • Information included in the product dashboard must be calculated consistent with APRA requirements in its reporting standards (e.g. for returns or risk information). .

  • You can only use information in advertising or other disclosure material, such as information on investment returns, if it aligns with the calculation methodology that APRA prescribes for reporting this data. This also applies to information you give to third parties (e.g. ratings agencies).

  • You do not have to use exactly the same information in your disclosure material that you gave to APRA. For example, your advertising may contain more up-to-date information on returns. However, this information must be calculated using the same methodology you used when providing the information to APRA.

  • If APRA requires information to be reported in different ways, you may use any of these methods in your disclosure material in the absence of further guidance. For example, if APRA requires you to provide both gross and net information on investment returns, you can use one or both of these figures in information to third parties or in your advertising. However, any methodology you use must be consistent with APRA’s methodologies for reporting this data.

  • You need to be aware that the requirement to align your disclosure material with how you report data to APRA may extend beyond matters such as performance information. If APRA requires you to report data about asset allocation (including defining ‘cash’ or any other asset class), you will need to consider whether changes should be made to your disclosure to align with these definitions.

What if the disclosure requirements and reporting standards conflict?

ASIC and APRA are working closely together to minimise any possible conflict between the disclosure requirements and reporting standards. We understand that conflict may arise in relation to periodic statements or fee disclosure.

If inconsistencies arise, we may be in a position to use our discretionary powers under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) or the SIS Act to address issues arising from these inconsistencies.

What happens if I breach s29QC?

A breach of s29QC by a superannuation trustee is a strict liability offence (50 penalty units).

Where can I get more information?

This is Information Sheet 167 (INFO 167). Information sheets provide concise guidance on a specific process or compliance issue or an overview of detailed guidance.

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