Was Stronger Super worth the trouble?

Have the Federal Government’s Stronger Super Reforms worked to the benefit of superannuation funds and their members?

That is the core of the post-implementation review of the 2013 legislation launched by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

Announcing the review, APRA said the aim was “to ensure the prudential and reporting standards, and related guidance, have achieved their objectives and continue to remain fit for purpose”.

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In doing so, the regulator signalled that while it would not be in the business of making major changes to the Stronger Super regime, it might be moved by the evidence to make changes at the margin.

“In conducting this post-implementation review, APRA’s objective is neither to weaken nor strengthen the prudential framework,” the regulator said. “APRA will, however, consider changes to the prudential framework to address any gaps identified or issues raised during the review process to improve its effectiveness.”

Among the questions APRA has opened for consideration by stakeholders is whether the prudential standards have provided increased clarity and certainty for trustees and, if not, how these can be improved or amended.

As well, the review poses the questions of whether the prudential standards continued to reflect current practices in the broader financial sector and whether any material gaps had been identified.

Importantly, the review is also examining what costs were incurred by funds in implementing Stronger Super and what on-going costs continue to be encountered by superannuation funds.

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