APRA ramps up data integrity oversight

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is looking to ramp up its work on improving data integrity in the superannuation industry this year.

Historically, super funds have been slow to respond to calls for improvements to data quality despite regular urging from APRA, the body said. Often licensees only reacted when a large-scale data integrity issue emerged from transitioning to a new administrator or administration platform.

Some improvements have been made in terms of awareness of the risks in the past 12 months, APRA said. However some licensees still did not have processes in place for periodic testing and cleansing of data.

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A number of provisions in Stronger Super reforms, SuperStream and APRA's prudential standards would improve progress in this area, APRA said.

It said it expected industry consolidation to continue due to capital gains tax relief and pressure to demonstrate scale efficiencies, which would dredge up legacy data integrity issues.

Insurance and eligible rollover funds could both provide challenges in data integrity, APRA said.

Super funds could start addressing data integrity by benchmarking data quality within business operations in order to identify problem areas, updating risk management frameworks to include data risk management, reviewing relevant outsourcing agreements, reviewing insurance arrangements, and preparing for the Australian Taxation Office's transition process for rollovers.

Licensees should pay particular attention to a number of data items including a member's full name, date of birth, address, mobile phone number, tax file number, the date the member joined the fund, beneficiary and gender.

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