ASIC updates super distribution guidance

The corporate regulator has released updated information regarding the distribution of superannuation products, highlighting that employers can not hawk products or influence employee choice.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) released the updated Information Sheet 89 (for employers) and Information Sheet 241 (for trustees) about changes affecting the distribution of super products because of recent law reforms.

ASIC would conduct a thematic review this financial year on how trustees used employers to distribute super products.

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Following the review, ASIC would consider regulatory action where misconduct causing consumer harm is identified.

“Employers have an obligation to ensure that superannuation guarantee contributions are paid on time to their employees’ superannuation fund of choice,” ASIC said.

Danielle Press, ASIC commissioner, said these initiatives are important as decisions consumers made about their super could have long-term consequences to their retirement.

“It is important that employers do not take steps that are inconsistent with laws designed to promote good choices by consumers about their superannuation fund,” Press said.

“Superannuation trustees should not encourage employers to act in a manner that is contrary to the law to promote their funds.

“Recent law reform has affected a variety of obligations concerning marketing and distribution of superannuation products, including via employers.

“Trustees should be checking if the way they seek to attract and retain employees as members is appropriate, in light of changes to the law and other relevant obligations.”

Overview of what can and can not be done for employers

Source: ASIC

“If employers fail to comply with the laws administered by ASIC outlined in this information sheet, ASIC would, in deciding whether to take action, take into account whether the misconduct is inadvertent or deliberate as well as other relevant circumstances,” ASIC said.

“ASIC would regard seriously conduct that amounts to deliberately failing to comply with the law.”

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