APRA still can’t deliver product comparisons

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has acknowledged to the Government that more than six years' down the track it still does not have the data necessary to allow product level comparisons of superannuation funds

Under questioning from Tasmanian Liberal Senator, David Bushby, APRA member, Helen Rowell, confirmed the regulator still did not have the necessary data in place to allow and "apples" with "apples" comparison.

Bushby, in questioning Rowell and other APRA executive, pointed to the criticisms of retail funds which of the existing comparisons based on fund level performance.

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"Their criticism is that when you compare at fund level you are not actually getting the full picture," he said. "They want comparison at product level so that people's choices about risk and so forth are actually compared in a fair way rather than just looking at overall fund performance, which, they say, is not necessarily a fair comparison."

Bushby said he had been informed by APRA some years ago that "they were working on a way to do that, but it would take a number of years for results to be meaningful".

"It has probably been five years since I asked that question," he said.

Rowell acknowledged that the regulator had consulted on the new data collection back in 2009, but said that in the intervening period there had been Cooper Review and the Stronger Super reforms.

"And that put our revision to the data collection on hold. The new data collection started from one July 2013. We now have the MySuper product data. From 1 July 2015 we will collect select investment option data so that, going forward, we will be able to compare product level and option level, but at the moment we only have six months' worth of MySuper data," she said.

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