Super funds under no specific obligation to notify members of fines

17 October 2019

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has confirmed that there is no specific requirement for superannuation funds to reveal to their members fines or other penalties which are paid out of member funds.

Answering a question on notice from the recent hearings of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, ASIC acknowledged that members of the fund would not necessarily be formally directly notified of a fine paid from member capital.

It said that while superannuation fund trustees had several disclosure obligations, “none specifically require the disclosure of a fine payable from the capital of a superannuation fund in all circumstances”.

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“However, some or all of these requirements may require disclosure depending on the circumstances involved, such as the nature of the breach, the extent of the fine and the impact it may have on fees and costs. The timing for when disclosure is required differs depending on the obligation,” ASIC said.

NSW Liberal Party Senator, Andrew Bragg, had asked ASIC whether if a superannuation fund had paid a fine out of the member reserve, those members would be notified.

The ASIC answer said that trustees might also be obliged to disclosure a substantial fine in periodic reporting or in the annual report, while on other occasions a trustee that had incurred a substantial fine would voluntarily put out its own disclosures about the fine and events that caused the trustee to be fine.

It said that in turn, ASIC might consider whether the disclosure was misleading or not.

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Far be it for me to get in the way of kicking an industry find for clicks and giggles, but didn't the IOOF case establish that this wasn't member money?

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