Hard deadline needed on comparable APRA super data

The Federal Government needs to adopt the June 2020 Productivity Commission (PC) recommendation for the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) fixing superannuation data gaps, and stick to it, according to Super Consumers Australia.

In a submission filed in response to the Senate Selection Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology, the SCA expressed concern that debates over superannuation data had dragged on for years and needed to be addressed.

It also called for common standards and sources of data to address the lack of common standards in superannuation.

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“There is currently little agreement over a common standard for comparison of superannuation products,” it said. “For example, what one fund might classify as a growth investment option, another will classify as balanced. Without ‘apples with apples’ comparisons an open data regime may further complicate decision making and ultimately lead to poor outcomes for consumers.”

“Fortunately there are solutions to this problem in the enhanced data collection and presentation role the regulator APRA has undertaken,” the submission said. “Before the power of open data can be harnessed APRA needs to refine and expand its capacity for data collection (e.g. collection in relation to ‘choice’ products and bundled insurance).”

“We are concerned that debates in superannuation about data collection have dragged on for years. There is a clear need for some hard deadlines, the Productivity Commission recommended APRA address these data reporting gaps within 18 months (June 2020) of it handing down its report. We encourage the Federal Government to adopt this deadline,” it said.

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