Super Alert – 12 April 2024: Federal Court decision re penalty for s912A non-compliance; reminders re Govt consultations


Posted By and on 12/04/24 at 3:06 PM

Welcome to the latest issue of the KHQ Super Alert. There are only two news item this week relating to release of APRA statistics and a Federal Court case – a refreshing change from the recent busy news weeks! We have included a reminder at the end about ongoing Government consultations.

APRA – Quarterly superannuation statistics

On 12 April 2024, APRA released the quarterly superannuation industry publication and the quarterly superannuation product statistics for the quarter ending 31 December 2023. According to APRA, this edition ‘includes, for the first time, industry investments by asset class using the enhanced classifications introduced under the Superannuation Data Transformation’.

Some key statistics include that as of 31 December 2023:

  • there were 60 MySuper products, 491 accumulation choice products, and 381 retirement products (including transition to retirement);
  • there were over 14.6 million MySuper member accounts, 6.1 million accumulation choice product member accounts, and 1.4 million retirement phase member accounts; and
  • the average member account balance had increased to $65,000 for MySuper products, $118,000 for accumulation choice products, and $340,000 for retirement products (excluding transition to retirement).

Click here for details.

ASIC – Federal Court decision in relation to penalty for section 912A non-compliance

On 11 April 2024, ASIC issued a media release in relation to the Federal Court’s decision of 10 April 2024 in Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Lanterne Fund Services Pty Limited [2024] FCA 353. ASIC alleged that the relevant AFSL holder had breached various general obligations under section 912A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) including in relation to having adequate risk management systems, resources, staff training and competence to provide financial services. The entity had around 60 corporate authorised representatives under its AFSL during the relevant periods which ASIC considered were not appropriately monitored and supervised.

The defendant had admitted the contraventions and consented to a statement of agreed facts and admissions with ASIC on 16 December 2022. The primary disagreement between the parties was about the civil penalty that should be imposed. The defendant submitted that a $150,000 penalty was appropriate ($30,000 per contravention). The Federal Court agreed instead with most of ASIC’s penalty submissions and ultimately imposed a penalty of $1.25 million. The judgment provides a useful summary of each of the relevant section 912A obligations.

Click here and here for details.

Current Government consultations open for submissions

The following list provides a useful reminder of current Government consultations referred to in previous Super Alerts which are still accepting public submissions:

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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