The Federal Government has released for consultation exposure draft legislation and explanatory material on financial and auditing requirements for superannuation funds.
The aim of the legislation was for super funds to be under the same obligations as public companies and registered schemes for financial reporting.
The Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy, Senator Jane Hume, said these changes were another way the Morrison Government was improving the accountability and transparency of superannuation funds.
“They complement the Government’s Your Future, Your Super package, which makes superannuation work harder for Australians, and leverage the expansion of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC’s) role in superannuation as recommended by the Financial Services Royal Commission,” Hume said.
“As at 31 March, 2021, registrable superannuation entities with more than four members had a combined value of $2.1 trillion.
“By comparison, the value of all listed companies in Australia at that time was $2.3 trillion, yet superannuation funds are subject to less stringent financial reporting obligations than public companies and registered schemes.
“While super funds are required to provide financial information and data to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), there is currently no requirement to prepare financial reports in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards and for these reports to be lodged on the public record.”
Hume said this resulted in a lack of transparency, accountability and regulatory oversight unsuited to the compulsory nature of superannuation.
“These reforms will require registrable superannuation entities to prepare, and lodge audited financial reports with ASIC,” Hume said.
“This will increase the transparency of financial information and better enable regulators’ oversight of superannuation funds.”
Submissions were open until 8 September, 2021, and the Government welcomed submissions from all interested parties.