Super Alert – 15 October 2021

Welcome to the latest issue of the KHQ Super Alert. This week, ASIC extended the temporary COVID-19 advice relief for financial advisers and requested relevant entities review their whistleblower policies. APRA released the results of its pilot risk culture survey and indicated that a more comprehensive survey will be rolled out in 2022.

KHQ Lawyers - Super Alert

APRA – Results from pilot risk culture survey release

On 14 October 2021, APRA released results from its pilot risk culture survey. According to APRA, the ‘survey, conducted between March and April 2021, provides insights from employees on perceived risk behaviours and the effectiveness of the risk management structures within their entities’.

An expanded risk culture survey is scheduled to be rolled out ‘to up to 60 banking, insurance and superannuation entities over the next 12 months’, with the expected roll out to superannuation entities expected to take place in the second quarter of 2022.

Click here for details.

ASIC – Extension of temporary COVID-19 advice relief

On 13 October 2021, the ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2021/848 was registered on the Federal Register of Legislation. The Instrument further extends ‘temporary relief measures designed to help the financial advice industry provide consumers with affordable and timely advice during the COVID-19 pandemic’. This relief, amongst other things, provides that financial advisers:

  • have additional time to provide a Statement of Advice (SOA) to clients in relation to urgent, time-critical COVID-19 advice;
  • can give financial product advice to clients about the early release of their superannuation, without the obligation to provide an SOA when certain conditions are met; and
  • can provide a Record of Advice rather than an SOA, in relation to COVID-19 advice in certain circumstances.

The relief will now end on 15 April 2022.

Click here and here for details.

 ASIC – Request for whistleblower policies to be reviewed

On 13 October 2021, ASIC issued a media release in relation to the review of whistleblower policies. According to ASIC, ‘[whistleblowers] are an essential part of an organisation’s ability to detect misconduct and identify, escalate and address issues’. ASIC has written to a number of entities, including ‘trustees of registrable superannuation entities (RSEs) urging them to review their whistleblower policies to ensure they comply with the law’. ASIC’s request follows its review of a ‘select sample of whistleblower policies’ which indicated that ‘the majority of policies did not fully address the relevant requirements’.

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FSC – Standard in relation to occupational exclusions

On 11 October 2021, the Financial Services Council (FSC) announced ‘that it will be introducing an enforceable FSC Standard to prohibit the use of occupational exclusions and restrictive definitions within default group life insurance policies in superannuation amongst FSC members’. This standard arises as a result of a consultation process undertaken by the FSC ‘with the superannuation and life insurance sectors, consumer advocates and other stakeholders with the aim of removing exclusions based on occupational classification within default group life insurance policies in MySuper’.

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APRA – Superannuation Data Transformation FAQs

On 8 October 2021, APRA updated its set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) in relation to the Superannuation Data Transformation Phase 1 reporting standards.

According to APRA, the FAQs are intended ‘to provide further guidance to RSE licensees on the reporting standards for the Phase 1 of the Superannuation Data Transformation (SDT) project’. The news release indicates that it has published ‘additional frequently asked questions’ (although these do not seem to be specifically identified) and it ‘has also made an update to FAQ 1.02 to clarify the next reporting period due date for Reporting Standard SRS 705.1 Investment Performance and Objectives’.

Click here for details.

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