ASIC extends super reporting deadlines


By Sarah Kendell

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The corporate regulator has extended the deadlines for a series of reporting requirements relating to superannuation, including the need for retirement calculators to allow for inflation, and the requirement for fund trustees to provide the same reporting figures to both the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and consumers.

ASIC recently introduced a requirement for all financial calculators that estimate a future return or payment to adjust these returns using an assumed rate of inflation of 2.5 per cent.

The original deadline for this requirement was 1 April 2017, but the regulator has granted an extension to providers of super and retirement calculators until 1 July 2018.

It said the exemption had been granted to super and retirement calculator providers because of the number of reforms to super that were coming in around the same time, which could affect the way estimated returns were calculated in the future.

At the same time, ASIC deferred the operation of section 29QC of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, which obligated fund trustees who were providing reporting to both APRA and consumers to ensure the information they provided was the same in both circumstances.

The regulator said the deferral, which now gave super fund trustees until 1 January 2019 to comply with the requirements, was prompted by the additional regulations around super product dashboard displays that were still being finalised and which would have an impact on how customers could compare super products.

Elsewhere, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has found in favour of former National Australia Bank adviser Gerard McCormack in his appeal of ASIC’s decision to ban him from the industry for five years.

The regulator’s investigation into McCormack had found he engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by misrepresenting himself to a superannuation fund in order to help a client gain access to the account details of a third party and improperly transfer funds out of the account.

While the AAT found McCormack had breached the Corporations Act in his conduct, it also found ASIC’s application for a ban was inappropriate in his circumstances as he was generally considered to conduct himself well in his work and therefore would not pose a risk to retail investment customers.

“[A ban] would have no effect in maintaining investor and consumer confidence in financial markets, which, on the evidence before me, was not in any event affected by Mr McCormack’s conduct,” AAT senior member Egon Fice said in his judgment.

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