AIST welcomes prudential guides

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has welcomed the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority's (APRA's) draft prudential practice guides - with a few exceptions.

In a submission to APRA commenting on practice guide 'SPG 220 Risk Management', AIST called for some best practice examples when it comes to risk appetite statements.

"Best practice examples would be of great assistance to the industry while it develops its competency for expressing risks in this way," said the submission.

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However, AIST accepted that risk appetite statements would "evolve and improve over time" - and any examples provided by APRA could be amended as the requirements are embedded into Registrable Superannuation Entity (RSE) licensees' processes.

In regards to the 'SPG 231 Outsourcing', AIST argued that risks associated with outsourcing functions are "borne and managed by the trustee", and should not be the responsibility of the RSE licensee.

'SPG 510 Governance' could be improved by including a recommendation that gender representation on boards be "considered and actioned", according to the submission.

However, when it comes to the requirement to appoint a non-affiliated director as chair of the board, AIST restated its "long-held belief" that there should be no "positive obligations on boards in that regard".

AIST also reiterated its position that non-directors should be able to form part of board committees, where the board decides it is appropriate.

In relation to 'SPG 521 Conflicts of Interest', the submission called for guidance from APRA regarding who the correct person would be to conduct an "annual robust review" of a superannuation fund's conflicts management framework.

Finally, AIST also asked that APRA provide "sufficient flexibility to accommodate relevant factors other than age" when it comes to lifecycle investment strategies.




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