In what represents a hook in the Government’s Your Future, Your Super legislation, it has quietly moved to impose portfolio holdings requirements on superannuation funds.
The legislation effectively removes the exemption which allows superannuation fund trustees to choose not to disclose up to 5% of their superannuation holdings.
The specific section of the bill is headed “Application of amendment relating to portfolio holdings disclosure” and states that “the amendment of section 1017BB made by Schedule 3 to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Your Future, Your Super) Act 2021 applies in relation to the reporting day that is 31 December 2021 and to later reporting days.
The explanatory memorandum to the Bill notes that it “includes amendments to the portfolio holdings disclosure rules, which generally require trustees to publish information about their disclosable investment items on their website. The portfolio holdings disclosure rules currently contain an exemption that allows trustees to choose not to disclose up to five per cent of superannuation holdings”.
The Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg and the Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy, Jane Hume, in announcing the introduction of the bill to the Parliament, made reference to the portfolio holdings requirement changes under the heading of “Increasing transparency and accountability”.
Their statement said: “The Government will increase trustee accountability by strengthening their obligations to ensure trustees only act in the best financial interests of members. The Government will also require superannuation funds to provide better information regarding how they manage and spend members’ money in advance of Annual Members’ Meetings and disclose all of their portfolio holdings to members”.