Superannuation FAQs

See also Fee and cost disclosure Q&As

MySuper - general

A1: Is a 'MySuper Product' to be treated as a new financial product, which requires a separate Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)?

Generally, no.

A MySuper product does not have to be a separate fund and financial product. ASIC anticipates that as with many current default options, MySuper will exist alongside the Choice products within a superannuation fund. In these circumstances, MySuper will not be treated as a separate financial product for the purposes of Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act 2001(Corporations Act).

The MySuper product will be the default option included in the 8 page shorter PDS, with the Choice products incorporated by reference. If, however, an RSE licensee offers a standalone MySuper product, this product will need its own shorter PDS. Please also refer to ASIC Information Sheet 155 Shorter PDSs: Complying with requirements for superannuation products and simple managed investment schemes (INFO 155) for further information about the requirements of the shorter PDS regime and the interaction with Stronger Super.

A2: Can a MySuper transition notification be provided prior to an RSE licensee receiving a MySuper authorisation?

ASIC understands that there is limited time for transition and some disclosures may need to be made without full details of matters such as APRA authorisations, or the product to which the member is to be transferred. In ASIC's existing guidance on successor fund transfers, we state that:

'Delaying making an "official" decision will not give you more time to notify members about changes you have been actively working towards. The existence of an official decision does not determine whether there has been an actual decision (which is a material change or significant event) that requires disclosure. Whether there has been a material change or event will depend on all of the circumstances (e.g. if you are taking the steps necessary to plan for and implement member transfers, this is a change or event that must be disclosed to members.' (see INFO 90)

We take a similar view that disclosure can be made in advance of having all details of a transfer to a MySuper product.

Please refer to ASIC Information Sheet 169 Notifying members about superannuation transfers: Accrued default amounts (MySuper transition) (INFO 169) for further information about disclosure requirements that may apply in relation to the transition to MySuper. INFO 169 also outlines the notification requirements and the circumstances in which they may apply.

A3: If the MySuper transition notification must contain the amount that will be attributed, and be provided at least 90 days prior to the transfer, how can we deal with the potential for changes in the member's account due to market movements during the notice period?

Regulation 9.46 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 requires a notice to be provided 90 days prior to the intended transfer of the accrued default amount. We

understand that it is not likely to be possible to provide an exact 'amount' due to factors such as market changes, variable expenses and member contributions/withdrawals.

In the circumstances, it may be appropriate to include a statement that the amount in the notification is subject to change in the intervening period.

Please refer to ASIC Information Sheet 169 Notifying members about superannuation transfers: Accrued default amounts (MySuper transition)(INFO 169) for further information about disclosure requirements that may apply in relation to the transition to MySuper.

A4: What information must be aligned with APRA's reporting standards?

In broad terms, under new section 29QC of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (the SIS Act), if an RSE licensee provides information calculated in a particular way to APRA under a reporting standard and the RSE licensee gives the same or equivalent information to another person, including on a website, then the RSE licensee must ensure that this information is calculated in the same way as the information given to APRA.

However, as a result of recent feedback, we have deferred the operation of section 29QC of the SIS Act until 1 July 2015, so that we can consult further with industry on the application of this section: see ASIC Class Order [CO 14/541] RSE licensee s29QC SIS Act disclosure exemption.

APRA’s Reporting Standard SRS 700.0 Product Dashboard (MySuper) continues to apply regardless of the deferral of section 29QC. Trustees will need to refer to this reporting standard for the elements of the product dashboard, including the return target information in the dashboard.

Reporting fee and cost information will also still be required under APRA’s Reporting Standard SRS 703.0 Fees Disclosed regardless of the deferral of section 29QC.

A5: What requirements apply in relation to naming MySuper products?

There is no legislative requirement to use the term 'MySuper' when naming a MySuper product.

However, to avoid confusion and ensure consumers are not misled, ASIC considers that RSE licensees should properly identify their MySuper product by disclosing their MySuper authorisation (unique identifier) number in all official fund documentation (such as Product Disclosure Statements and periodic statements) and on their website.

MySuper - product dashboard

B1: When do product dashboard obligations commence?

For MySuper products, product dashboard obligations apply from 31 December 2013. For Choice products, the product dashboard obligations have been deferred and will apply from 1 July 2015: see ASIC Class Order [CO 14/443] Deferral of choice product dashboard and portfolio holdings disclosure regimes. The purpose of this deferral is to:

  • allow further consultation in relation to the product dashboard requirements

  • allow further time for the regulations relating to these requirements to be released

  • provide industry with a reasonable period to prepare for the detailed presentation and content requirements relating to the requirements, and

  • to reduce the administrative burden on industry.

B2: Can additional content be included on a website alongside the product dashboard information?

Generally, yes. The product dashboard provisions do not expressly prohibit RSE licensees from including additional information on their website alongside the product dashboard. For example, an RSE licensee may wish to include further information about risk, or refer a member to the information about risk that is available in the PDS for the product. However, an RSE licensee should observe good disclosure principles in giving additional content to ensure that the presentation of the product dashboard is still helpful for consumers and is not misleading or deceptive: for useful information see ASIC's Regulatory Guide 234 Advertising financial products and advice services: Good practice guidance (RG 234).

Please also read Information Sheet 170 MySuper product dashboard requirements for superannuation trustees (INFO 170).

MySuper - portfolio holdings

C1: What information is an RSE licensee required to disclose in relation to portfolio holdings?

The portfolio holdings disclosure requirements have been deferred until 1 July 2015, with a first reporting date of 31 December 2015: see [CO 14/443]. The purpose of this deferral is to:

  • allow further time for the regulations relating to these requirements to be released

  • provide industry with a reasonable period to prepare for the detailed presentation and content requirements relating to these requirements, and

  • reduce the administrative burden on industry, including other parties who may be supplying information to trustees for the purposes of disclosing portfolio holdings under section 1017BB of the Corporations Act.

MySuper – remuneration and other website disclosure

D1: Who is an ‘executive officer’ for the purposes of website disclosure?

If a registrable superannuation entity has an RSE licensee that is a body corporate, the RSE’s website must publicly disclose remuneration details and the name, qualifications and trustee or board-member experience, of each executive officer of the RSE licensee.

Remuneration details must also be provided for each individual trustee of a registrable superannuation entity.

These are requirements of section 29QB of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) and regulations 2.37 and 2.38(2)(j) of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (SIS Regulations).

Under section 10 of the SIS Act, an ‘executive officer’ in relation to a body corporate, is a person, by whatever name called, who is concerned in the management of the body, or takes part in the management of the body, whether or not a director.

For the purposes of website disclosure, ASIC regards an executive officer as:

  1. a director of the RSE licensee, or

  2. a senior manager of the RSE licensee as defined in paragraphs 16(a), 16(b) or 16(c) of APRA’s Prudential Standard SPS 520 Fit and Proper dated July 2013. Broadly, this is a person other than a director of the RSE licensee, who may significantly influence the RSE licensee’s financial standing or a substantial part of its business operations.

A senior manager referred to in paragraph 2 above, should be included as an executive officer if:

  • the RSE licensee directly employs, or retains them under contract

  • a connected entity or a related body corporate of the RSE licensee (including a service company) employs, or retains them under contract, or

  • an entity that is not a connected entity or a related body corporate of the RSE licensee employs them; and that entity has a service contract with the RSE licensee.

Examples:

  • The Chief Executive Officer is an executive officer.

  • The General Manager of Risk Management is an executive officer.

  • The Call Centre Manager is generally not an executive officer, as he or she does not participate in decisions affecting a substantial part of the RSE licensee’s business, nor have the capacity to significantly affect the licensee’s business operations or financial standing.

D2: What is a summary of each significant event or material change notice?

SIS Regulation 2.38(2)(h) requires a registrable superannuation entity’s website to publicly include a summary of each significant event notice or material change notice made to members within the previous 2 years. (The website summary is additional to the notice sent to members under existing Corporations Act requirements.)

The summary of each notice should concisely set out matters such as:

  • the notice date

  • the nature of the event or change, and

  • the impact of the change (if not apparent from the description of the nature of the event), including the category of affected people (e.g., ‘all those in the balanced investment option’). It may also include an estimate of the monetary impact on the RSE or those affected and an estimate of the number of people affected or potentially affected by the event or change.

The summary may be included in a table of the previous 2 years’ notices, with one line per notice showing the above information and possibly, a hyperlink to a template or representative example of the notice (excluding names of those affected). By way of example:

XYZ Super Fund

Notice date

Nature of event or change

Impact of the change

31 May 20XZ

Management fees overcharged to members in the Cash option.

Members in the Cash option were overcharged an estimated average of $20 in each of the quarters ending 30 September 20XY and 31 December 20XY. We estimate that 100-120 people may have been affected.

Where there is a breach, RSE licensees may also consider including information about their rectification plans.

If the website hyperlinks to the template or representative example of the notice, this may reduce the detail required in the summary, but the summary should contain enough information so that the reader can assess if they want to read the hyperlinked information.

If further investigation by the trustee generates a new significant event notice or new material event notice, a further notice summary will be required.

D3: What is a summary of the Conflicts Management Policy?

SIS Regulation 2.38(2)(m) requires a summary of the conflicts management policy to be publicly available on a registrable superannuation entity’s website.

The conflicts management policy is that required by APRA’s Prudential Standard SPS 521 Conflicts of Interest.

If the website provides a full copy of the conflicts management policy, the summary may be briefer, but should contain enough information so that the reader can assess if they wish to read the full policy.

D4: How should apportionment work in relation to regulation 2.37(2) of the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (MySuper Measures) Regulations 2013 where no payment, benefit or compensation is paid (volunteer directors)?

The Explanatory Statement to the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (MySuper Measures) Regulations 2013 states that regulation 2.37 is modelled on the existing requirements for listed companies under regulation 2M3.03 of the Corporations Regulations 2001. This includes general information, in addition to the items relating to payments and benefits and compensation. An additional item that is to be disclosed is where money is attributable to the service as a director and is not paid to the director. For example, in funds where the director has been appointed by an employer or employee sponsor and the fee for their service is paid to the organisation rather than directly to the person, the name of the organisation and amount paid will also need to be disclosed.

In addition, where an executive officer or individual trustee also receives payments or benefits from a related entity to the RSE licensee, regulation 2.37(2) requires the disclosure of the amount of those payments or benefits that accurately represent the proportion of the person’s time committed to their obligations to the RSE licesnsee.

In terms of determining what constitutes a payment, benefit or compensation in these circumstances, regulation 2.37(3) states that the RSE licensee entity must apply the requirements of relevant accounting standards when disclosing information.

Central to the disclosure requirement is whether all or part of the remuneration of the director relates to work performed for the RSE licensee. If a director position is unpaid (e.g. a volunteer director paid by an employer) and the position does not affect the terms of an employee's employment or duties they would otherwise perform, it may be open to an RSE licensee to disclose a nil amount. However, ASIC expects a trustee to make their best endeavours to disclose the arrangements that apply in their particular case. For example, a trustee could provide an explanation of the amount of time a volunteer director spends on director activities.

D5: Regulation 2.38(2)(k) of the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (MySuper Measures) Regulations 2013 requires the disclosure of a record of attendance at board meetings for each director for the last seven financial years, or a lesser period if a director has served for a period of less than seven years. Does this requirement only apply to current directors?

ASIC considers that the requirement to disclose records of attendance at board meetings applies to current directors only.

Therefore, an RSE licensee does not need to disclose the attendance at board meetings for directors who have left before 1 July 2014, and who are no longer current directors. For directors who leave after 1 July 2014, their details of attendance at board meetings can also be removed from website disclosures.

Please note that regulation 2.37 of the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (MySuper Measures) Regulations 2013 requires the disclosure of the dates on which an executive officer began holding their position and the date on which they retired from the position.

D6: What approach will ASIC take to the new section 29QB obligations?

We have previously issued a facilitative compliance message for the period between 1 July 2013 and 1 July 2014 (refer: 13-026MR). We will adopt a measured approach where inadvertent breaches arise or systems changes are underway, provided industry participants are making reasonable efforts to comply. This facilitative compliance message has been extended for section 29QB remuneration and systemic transparency obligations until 1 July 2015.

D7: How can you make s29QB information easier to find?

Under s29QB of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) each registrable superannuation entity (RSE) must disclose specified information (Transparency Information) on a website and keep it up to date at all times.

Transparency Information comprises remuneration, governance and other information related to the fund – see regulations 2.37 and 2.38 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994.

Because of superannuation’s economic significance, Transparency Information is intended to make the superannuation industry transparent to the market and is mainly for gatekeepers (analysts, journalists and advisers). It may also be useful to interested members.

RSE licensees can make it easier to find RSE Transparency Information by ensuring that:

  • You can find an RSE website by searching on the RSE’s name using an internet search engine.
  • The website homepage prominently points to the Transparency Information. The pointer should include the words “Transparency Information” because gatekeepers (a significant part of the intended audience) may find such a reference useful.

Complaints handling

E1:For decisions on complaints, what detail must be included in written reasons for a decision?

For decisions in relation to complaints, both the Corporations Regulations and the SIS Act require a trustee to provide written reasons for a decision.

We expect that in responding to complaints the trustee will give reasons for reaching a decision on a complaint which adequately addresses the issues raised in the initial complaint and should also refer to applicable provisions in legislation, codes, standards or procedures: see Guiding Principle 4.5 of the Australian Standards ISO 10002-2006 as discussed in Regulatory Guide 165 Licensing: Internal and external dispute resolution (RG 165).

Further, trustees may also need to consider whether section 25D of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 applies. Section 25D requires the document giving the reasons for decision to set out the findings on material questions of fact and refer to the evidence or other material on which those findings were based.

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Last updated: 03/07/2017 08:16