Early release super fund laggards could be identified

21 April 2020

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has revealed the degree to which it will be monitoring the impacts of the Government’s hardship early release superannuation regime on superannuation fund liquidity via weekly data collections from super funds.

As well, APRA will be using the data to monitor the timeliness with which superannuation funds deliver on their early release obligations with laggards likely to be revealed in published reports.

The regulator announced that, from next week, superannuation fund licensees would need to complete and submit APRA’s new Early Release Initiative (ERI) data collection form weekly until further notice.

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It said the ERI reporting form would gather a range of information from licensees, including the number and value of early release benefits paid to superannuation members and the processing times of those payments.

“It will help the Government, APRA and other stakeholders monitor the take-up of the new scheme among superannuation members, and ensure licensees are processing eligible applications in a timely manner,” it said.

APRA said it intended publishing the data at both industry and fund level and that if funds refused to cooperate it would implement a legally binding reporting standard.

The first ERI data collection is due on 29 April 2020 for information as at 26 April 2020.

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If ever there was a need for an ASIC representative to be embedded into an organisation or a psychologist to attend board meetings, it is right now with these Industry Funds.

In the COVID-19 environment a lot of things are being described as "unprecedented". If a regulator took action against a union fund, that certainly would be unprecedented!

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