The Turnbull Government has introduced a comprehensive package of reforms to Australia’s $2.3 trillion superannuation system squarely focused on protecting members’ money and interests.
The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said given the compulsory nature of superannuation, Australians rightly expect superannuation funds to be held to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.
The comprehensive package will deliver a strong and modern superannuation system that is solely focused on delivering outcomes for all Australians who rely on these funds to secure their retirement, with a strong prudential regulator.
These changes apply equally to all APRA regulated superannuation funds, including retail, industry, corporate and public sector funds.
The package will:
- Make super funds more transparent and accountable for how they spend members’ money through new reporting of expenses, Annual Member Meetings and a portfolio holdings disclosure regime;
- Strengthen APRA’s powers to regulate funds and take preventative or corrective action where they find that a fund is not acting in the best interests of members;
- Give more than one million workers the right to choose their own superannuation fund if they are currently prevented from doing so because of enterprise bargaining agreements or workplace determinations;
- Close a legal loophole being used by some unscrupulous employers to short-change workers of their full superannuation guarantee entitlements;
- Legislate a consistent minimum standard for one-third independent directors, including an independent chair, to facilitate more diversity and skills and to improve governance by strengthening conflict management across the entire industry; and
- Strengthen all default MySuper products offered across the industry, which, at June 2016, included 46 retail, 43 Industry, 15 corporate and 11 public sector fund MySuper Products.
APRA has publicly stated that it will consult on a proposal to apply an outcomes test to all super products, including choice products. The Government agrees with APRA’s proposal to strengthen the choice sector for the financial benefit of members and expects it to be implemented.
Superannuation belongs to members and no one else. The Turnbull Government doesn’t just say we have workers’ backs. Our actions prove it.