Treasury expects APRA scrutiny of super fee increases

16 March 2020

Superannuation funds should not be able to blame recent Government legislative changes for the imposition of new fee increases on members and should have to explain themselves to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

That is the view of a senior Treasury official who has told Senate Estimates that Government’s legislative changes were no intended to impose extra costs on superannuation funds which could then be passed on to members.

The questioning of the Treasury official, Robert Jeremenko came amid claims that Australia’s largest industry superannuation fund, AustralianSuper had seen fit to lift some fees and had suggested that this was due to the Government’s recent legislative changes.

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NSW Liberal Party Senator, Andrew Bragg, asked whether Jeremenko whether he believed the claims of increased costs were real.

“It's hard to know without understanding the intricacies of the business model of each of these organisations,” the Treasury official said. “Ultimately it is up to the trustees to do what is in the best interests of their members.”

“Yes, I have seen the reports of some public statements that certain funds have made that are attributing fee increases to government legislation. Ultimately it is something where they will need to prove to the regulator that that is an appropriate fee increase.”

Jeremenko said he was sure that APRA would be ensuring that any fee increases imposed by superannuation funds were appropriate

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Why is he "sure"?

Meanwhile all financial advisers are likely to substantially increase their fees, and it will clearly be due to massive regulatory cost increases.

Hopefully all advisers will separate out "regulatory costs" as a line item on their invoices and FDSs so that consumers can see the financial impact of chronic over regulation. In my case, about 30% of my costs are directly related to regulation. Would be interested to know if others are similar?

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