GLOBAL - New measures to ensure safer superannuation schemes have been brought before parliament by the Australian government.
The Superannuation Safety Amendment Bill requires trustees of superannuation funds regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to be licensed, and requires preparation of risk management plans and enhanced reporting requirements to increase the flow of information to APRA.
Separate classes of licences for public and non public funds are specified, which can be granted to corporate entities or groups of trustees.Introducing the Bill, minister for revenue and assistant treasurer senator Helen Coonan said:
“The importance of increasing public confidence in the super system is paramount and these reforms to improve the safety of superannuation are an important plan in building the confidence of Australian workers in the super system.”
The planned changes received a warm welcome from the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, but with some reservations: “ASFA’s Best Practice Paper on Risk Management for the basis of our discussion with government on the new proposals and we are pleased to see that many of our recommendations have been adopted,” said Philippa Smith CEO of ASFA.
“However details of one or two of the proposals, and APRA’s likely licence fees need further examination. We will be discussing what is now meant by the ‘fit and proper‘ test for trustees with the government when it consults on the operating standards.”
But the changes were slammed as “weak and wimpy” by Labor’s shadow minister for retirement income, Nick Sherry. Shortly before the government’s new bill the Australian Labor Party published its own simplification proposals.
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