Should the sole purpose test be more flexible?

A significant number of superannuation fund trustees and executives believe there need to be changes to the sole purpose test to give them more flexibility to operate in current commercial circumstances.

A survey conducted at the recent Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) national conference revealed the degree to which fund executives and trustees regarded the terms of the sole purpose test contained within the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act as an impediment.

The survey, sponsored by EISS Super, noted that the sole purpose test restricted the services that could be offered by superannuation funds, and then canvassed whether it should be modified, made more flexible or abandoned.

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Significantly, more than half of respondents to the survey said they believed it should be either made more flexible or abandoned altogether, with most opting for a more flexible approach.

The survey revealed that 48.7 per cent of respondents believed the sole purpose test should be made more flexible, while a further 5.1 per cent believed it should be abandoned altogether.

However, 35.80 per cent of respondents said they believed it should left alone and retained in its present form.

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The reason EISS wants it changed so industry funds can keep using member funds to continue the exorbitantly expensive adverting campaigns and directors fees and benefits.

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