The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has signalled it does not intend waiting for the Government’s superannuation legislation to pass the Parliament by today releasing a set of new and enhance prudential requirements for superannuation funds, including an outcomes test.
In doing so, APRA deputy chair, Helen Rowell acknowledged that the regulator was moving ahead of the passage of the Government’s legislation intended to underpin the outcomes test - the Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No.1) Bill 2017.
“APRA’s proposals are consistent with the outcomes assessment proposals in the Bill, and are being introduced now to maintain industry momentum towards delivering improved outcomes for members,” she said.
Rowell said APRA would review whether amendments were needed to the prudential framework requirements if the Bill was passed by Parliament in future.
The APRA deputy chair also emphasised APRA’s strong support for the other reforms contained in the Bill and, in particular, the enhanced directions powers for APRA, the strengthened MySuper authorisation and cancellation provisions, and the requirement for APRA to approve changes of ownership of RSE licensees.
“These new policy proposals address weaknesses in the current superannuation regulatory framework and would greatly assist APRA in driving the superannuation industry towards addressing underperformance and improving member outcomes,” she said.
Rowell’s statement said APRA’s finalised package of measures is the culmination of extensive industry engagement that commenced in August 2017, and includes amendments to the original proposals taking into account the feedback received during consultation.
The commencement date for the new measures had been set as 1 January 2020, to provide industry with sufficient time to meet the new requirements.