Call for single regulator for all super funds

Self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) should be moved within the same Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) jurisdiction as all other superannuation funds, according to participants in a Super Review/Money Management roundtable.

Virtually all participants attending the roundtable, conducted during the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) conference in Perth and sponsored by Metlife, agreed that leaving SMSFs separated from other funds and under the oversight of the Australian Taxation Office was inappropriate.

ASFA chief executive Pauline Vamos set the tone by saying the entire system for regulating superannuation funds needed to be reviewed.

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"And the reason I say that is that regulation is not so much about rules any more, its about managing risk," she said.

"And when you are a regulator you need to be able to understand systemic risk, environmental risk and operational risk and you need to be able to assess it across the whole industry," Vamos said. "And with such a big proportion of the money held in SMSFs you're just not going to get a good risk profile of the industry."

She said that that factor alone was enough reason to bring regulation of superannuation under one body.

The director of NGS Super, Jeff Newcombe, agreed with Vamos and said that if the regulatory oversight of superannuation flowed within one organisation there would be more consistency and better levels of compliance.

Deloitte partner Russell Mason said he had believed for many years that all superannuation funds should be regulated by one regulator and that the most appropriate body to undertake that task was APRA.

"They (APRA) have the experience while the ATO is a collector of revenue," he said.

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