No room for complacency: Rowell

APRA will monitor trustees closely  as to how they set, assess, and work towards performance goals for their superannuation fund in 2018.

APRA deputy chair Helen Rowell said in Canberra recently that trustees will have to set strategic objectives, keep a written business plan detailing how they plan to meet these objectives, and include robust expense management in their business planning.

APRA also requires trustees to track their performance outcomes in absolute and relative terms, including against that of a peer group.

However, Rowell admitted the member outcomes assessment is not a "one-size-fits-all" measure.

"Individual funds have different members and different strategies, and the scope and nature of trustees' business operations varies. And so different trustees will have different outcomes that they are seeking to deliver; and hence the benchmarks and measures that are used for their assessments are also likely to vary," Rowell said.

She also encouraged members to sign up to the Insurance in Super Working Group Code of Practice but said there was room for improvement including clearer definitions for disability insurance, tackling multiple insurance accounts and covers, and reconsidering default MySuper products.

Addressing cyber threats, Rowell said APRA is slated to finalise a prudential standard on IT security by November for a July 2019 implementation.

Also underway is a review of the 2013 prudential standards and Rowell says to expect revisions to some reporting standards. Results will be released by the end of 2018.

Low interest rates, uncertainty in financial markets, fund consolidation and more members moving from fund accumulation to retirement stage were affecting trustees but they had a duty and all trustees will have to think about how they can improve what they do, she said.

"We would find it hard to conclude that a trustee was meeting their obligation to act in the best interests of their members if they are consistently delivering poor member outcomes," she said.

Read more: ITAPRAInsuranceHelen RowellCanberraMySuperCode of Practice
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