ASIC clampdown on super fund websites

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is cracking down on information disclosure on superannuation funds’ websites as it pushes for more transparency in the industry. 

The push comes under Regulatory Guide 252 (RG 252) 'Keeping superannuation websites up to date’ in time for the Government’s Stronger Super, which starts from 1 July. 

The regulator said under section 29QB of the Supervision Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, Registrable Superannuation Entities (RSE) licensees have to reveal documents and information relating to the RSE and the licensee, such as the trust deed and proxy voting policies. 

From next month, ASIC will require super companies to publish details of their executives on their website, including remuneration, and fund product disclosure statements, governing rules, actuarial reports and a list of major events that have occurred over the past two years. 

“However, the legislation does not clarify what this means in practice,” ASIC said. 

“For example, it is not stated whether a website should be updated on the day that the required information changes or at some later time.” 

To this end ASIC issued Class Order [CO 14.509] to provide a safe harbour for RSE licensees.  

Super funds have 20 business days to report changes to “a relevant executive officer who is a chief executive officer or director,” and report retirements within the same timeframe. 

For instance, if an event occurs on 10 November 2014 (Monday), and the release time is 20 business days, the RSE licensee must update the website by the end of 8 December 2014 (Monday). 

“You start counting the 20 business days on the day after the day of the trigger,” the regulatory guide said. 

Remuneration information needs to be updated within four months. 

“We estimate these timeframes will lower compliance costs for companies and save the industry almost $30 million,” ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said.

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