KHQ Super Alert – 11 March 2022

Welcome to this week’s issue of the KHQ Super Alert. This week, APRA and ASIC issued a joint letter in relation to the commencement of the retirement income covenant and the Treasurer announced that the Federal Budget will be handed down in late March.  

ASIC – Remaining sitting dates for 2022 financial adviser exam announced

On 8 March 2022, ASIC issued a media release in relation to the remaining 2022 sitting dates, and corresponding enrolment deadlines, for the financial adviser exam. According to ASIC, the remaining sitting dates are in May, July and November.

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APRA and ASIC – Retirement income covenant guidance

On 7 March 2022, APRA and ASIC issued a joint letter to trustees in relation to the retirement income covenant. The letter informs RSE licensees that while APRA and ASIC expect ‘continuous improvement’ from 1 July 2022 onwards, given the flexibility afforded to RSE licensees ‘in implementing the retirement income covenant, APRA and ASIC do not intend to issue detailed regulatory guidance on how RSE licensees should implement the covenant’.

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ATO – Regulations in relation to the work test

On 7 March 2022, the ATO issued CRT Alert 002/2022 advising that the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Superannuation Outcomes) Regulations 2022 (Regulations) were registered on the Federal Register of Legislation. As discussed in our Super Alert of 4 March 2022, the Regulations reduce the eligibility age for downsizer contributions to 60 years, and repeal the work test for non-concessional and salary sacrificed contributions for members aged between 67 and 75. Trustees should note that according to the ATO, the changes imposed by the Regulations ‘mean the general oversight of the work test rules will move to the ATO rather than at the point of a fund accepting contributions’.

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Government and APRA – Divestment of Russian assets

On 3 March 2022, Senator Jane Hume issued a media release stating that ‘[i]n light of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and the continued escalation of sanctions imposed against Russia in response, [the Government is] confirming its strong expectation that Australian superannuation funds will review their investment portfolios and take steps to divest any holdings in Russian assets.’ On the same day APRA issued a media release noting the Government’s expectation and stated in response that APRA ‘will not be taking any action against trustees who seek to divest Russian assets in this context where trustees have considered such divestments in accordance with their duties’.

APRA also noted that data indicates ‘superannuation fund holdings of Russian assets are a very small proportion of the $3.5 trillion superannuation asset pool’.

Click here and here for details.

Government – Timing of Federal Budget

On 2 March 2022, the Treasurer announced that the Federal Budget for 2022/23 would be handed down by the Federal Government on 29 March 2022.

Click here for details.

KHQ Lawyers - Jordan Diamantopoulos

Jordan Diamantopoulos Lawyer

Jordan is a lawyer in our Litigation & Dispute Resolution team, with experience across the private and public sector. He commenced with KHQ as a graduate lawyer in 2021,... Read More

KHQ Lawyers - Sanela Osmanovic

Sanela Osmanovic Senior Associate

Sanela is a Senior Associate in our Superannuation & Financial Services team, and has a broad range of experience working with a range of superannuation fund trustees... Read More

KHQ Lawyers - Natalie Cambrell

Natalie Cambrell Director

Natalie leads our Superannuation & Financial Services team. With more than 25 years’ experience, she has an enviable reputation for her in-depth knowledge in these highly regulated and complex... Read More