From the minister’s announcement – Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, welcomed the passage of legislation through the Parliament last night that raises the standard for those managing Australians’ superannuation savings, as well as closing a regulatory gap by giving APRA the same powers over superannuation funds that it has over banks and insurance companies.
- Requires a trustee to put the interests of members of funds first at all times;
- Clearly identifies the duties that apply to directors of superannuation funds, including acting honestly and in the best interests of members; and
- Includes a power for APRA to make prudential standards for superannuation.
The measures contained in the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Trustee Obligations and Prudential Standards) Bill 2012 implement changes recommended by the Cooper review into the governance, efficiency, structure and operation of Australia’s superannuation system.
This important legislation passed, despite the Coalition voting against it.
“I am disappointed that the Coalition voted against legislation that raises the bar for superannuation trustees including those overseeing industry funds, corporate funds and retail funds,” Mr Shorten said.
“The Coalition is all talk and no walk when it comes to superannuation governance.”
“The changes demonstrate the Government’s determination to improve trust and transparency in superannuation as we increase universal superannuation from 9 to 12 per cent.”
The prudential standards provisions, which will provide APRA with greater flexibility to adapt to industry developments, will apply from the day after Royal Assent. The enhancements to trustee obligations will apply from 1 July 2013.