Super Alert – 4 March 2022

Welcome to the latest issue of the KHQ Super Alert. This week, among a range of developments, ASIC released a speech about its corporate governance priorities and APRA announced that it would shortly issue a voluntary climate risk self-assessment survey to selected APRA-regulated entities.           

Legislation – Changes to downsizer contributions age and work test requirements

On 3 March 2022, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Superannuation Outcomes) Regulations 2022 were registered on the Federal Register of Legislation. These regulations amend the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994, Retirement Savings Accounts Regulations 1997 and Income Tax Assessment (1997 Act) Regulations 2021 to ‘reduce the eligibility age for downsizer contributions…from 65 to 60 years, and to repeal the work test for non-concessional and salary sacrificed contributions for individuals aged between 67 and 75 years’.

Click here for details.

ASIC – Corporate governance priorities

On 3 March 2022, ASIC published a speech delivered by its chair, Joseph Longo. Mr Longo’s comments relating to superannuation funds include:

  • ‘ASIC is conducting a review to establish whether the practice and promotion of managed investment and superannuation funds that offer ‘ESG’ or ‘green’ products are actually aligned’; and
  • ‘an article by ASIC Commissioner Sean Hughes [was published] in the March 2022 issue of AICD’s Company Director magazine…I suggest you read it…if you are a corporate trustee of registrable superannuation entity…[u]nfortunately, our 2020 review of whistleblower policies found that many companies fall short’.

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ATO – Articles for APRA-regulated funds

On 2 March 2022 and 3 March 2022, the ATO published several articles for APRA-regulated funds with the following titles:

  • ‘Your reporting obligations’;
  • ‘Unclaimed superannuation money protocol’;
  • ‘Unclaimed super’;
  • ‘KiwiSaver Scheme’; and
  • ‘Eligibility age change for downsizer contributions’.

Click here, here, here, here and here for details.

APRA – Voluntary climate risk self-assessment survey

On 2 March 2022, APRA issued a letter informing trustees that it intends to conduct a voluntary climate risk self-assessment survey. The survey will focus on ‘medium-to-large APRA-regulated entities’ and ‘is intended to improve both APRA’s and industry’s understanding of the approaches being taken by APRA-regulated entities to identify, assess and manage climate-related financial risks’.

According to APRA, the ‘survey assesses the alignment between current entity approaches to considering the financial risks of climate change, and the expectations set out in APRA’s CPG 229 guidance and the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure’. Entities that are ‘invited to complete the survey via an online questionnaire…will have six weeks from receiving the questionnaire to provide their responses’.

Click here for details.

APRA – Superannuation statistics for the December 2021 quarter

On 1 March 2022, APRA released its ‘Quarterly Superannuation Performance publication and the Quarterly MySuper Statistics report for the December 2021 quarter’. Among other findings, [superannuation] assets totalled $3.4 trillion at the end of December 2021. This represents ‘a 14.0 per cent increase in the value of total superannuation assets over the past year, reflecting strong investment performance and positive contributions growth achieved over the period’.

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ASIC – Consultation on proposed updates to RG 263 Financial Services and Credit Panel

On 28 February 2022, ASIC released ‘Consultation Paper 359 Update to RG 263 Financial Services and Credit Panel’ (CP 359). CP 359 seeks ‘feedback on [ASIC’s] proposed updates to Regulatory Guide 263 Financial Services and Credit Panel’. The proposed updates aim to ‘reflect changes to the Financial Services and Credit Panel’ (FSCP) brought about by the Financial Sector Financial (Hayne Royal Commission Response—Better Advice) Act 2021.

According to ASIC, ‘CP 359 is seeking feedback on [its] proposed approach to:

  • determining when to convene a sitting panel of the FSCP,
  • generally hold hearings of sitting panels using technology, and
  • publicising decisions of sitting panels’.

Submissions in relation to CP 359 are due on 28 March 2022.

Click here for details.

ACSC – Cyber security recommendations

On 23 February 2022, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) set an alert status to ‘High’ and is encouraging Australian organisations ‘to urgently adopt an enhanced cyber security position’. According to the ACSC, ‘[malicious] cyber activity could impact Australian organisations through unintended disruption or uncontained malicious cyber activities’.

The ACSC:

  • ‘recommends that organisations urgently adopt an enhanced cyber security posture…[including] reviewing and enhancing detection, mitigation, and response measures’;
  • ‘strongly recommends organisations implement the Essential Eight mitigation strategies from [its] Strategies to Mitigate Cyber Security Incidents as a baseline’; and
  • notes that it ‘has published Cyber Incident Response Plan – Guidance & Template to assist organisations to produce an incident response plan’.

Click here for details.

KHQ Lawyers - Jordan Diamantopoulos

Jordan Diamantopoulos Lawyer

Jordan is a graduate lawyer and is currently working in our Litigation team. Prior to joining KHQ Lawyers, Jordan worked as a Barrister’s research assistant and more recently at the Australian Competition... Read More

KHQ Lawyers - Sanela Osmanovic

Sanela Osmanovic Senior Associate

Sanela is a Senior Associate in the superannuation & financial services team, and has a broad range of experience working with a range of superannuation fund trustees, superannuation administrators,... Read More

KHQ Lawyers - Natalie Cambrell

Natalie Cambrell Director

Natalie Cambrell leads our superannuation and financial services team.  With more than 20 years’ experience, she has an enviable reputation for her in-depth knowledge in these highly regulated and... Read More