29 November 2012

Big win for consumers as MySuper laws pass Parliament

Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, has welcomed the passage of legislation through Parliament that will implement the arrangements for the transition to MySuper products and enhance transparency in the superannuation industry.

"This legislation is a key part of the Government's comprehensive agenda to improve superannuation for Australian workers through the new simple, low cost MySuper product," Mr Shorten said.

The Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Further MySuper and Transparency Measures) Bill 2012 defines those member balances that trustees must move to the new simple and low cost MySuper product by 1 July 2017. 

The Government moved amendments to define these accrued default amounts as member balances where the member has either not provided any investment direction to the fund at all or where the member's entire balance is invested in the fund's default investment option. 

This approach represents a consensus position of the four key superannuation industry bodies – the Association of Superfunds of Australia, the Australian Institute of Trustees, the Financial Services Council and the Industry Super Network – and seeks to strike a better balance between protecting the interests of members and respecting individual investment decisions.

"The industry has recognised the importance of the Government's reforms by reaching agreement on a workable and sensible path forward.  Protecting the best interests of members has been the Government's priority and it's very encouraging that industry has worked constructively with the Government to achieve this goal," Mr Shorten said.

Importantly, the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Further MySuper and Transparency Measures) Bill 2012 will also improve the transparency of superannuation by:

  • requiring superannuation funds to publish their full portfolio holdings on their website twice annually;
  • mandating the disclosure of the remuneration of directors and executives of each superannuation fund; and
  • ensuring APRA is able to publish comparable data on the fees, costs and net returns of MySuper products; and
  • providing new data collection powers for APRA in relation to superannuation.