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APRA expands super data collection

APRA has released the final consultation package for Phase 1 of its project to expand the breadth, depth and consistency of its superannuation data collection.

Launched last November, APRA's multi-year Superannuation Data Transformation aimed to improve member outcomes by enhancing the comparability and consistency of reported data on APRA-regulated superannuation funds.

Phase 1 of the project, the breadth phase, addressed the highest priority gaps in APRA's data collection, particularly for choice products and investment options.

The consultation package contains topic papers, draft reporting standards and data collection templates covering fees and costs, insurance arrangements, expense reporting and asset allocation.

APRA said it's expanding its collection of fee and cost disclosure data to choice products and options, and providing key forward-looking drivers of member outcomes for all superannuation products.

For insurance arrangements the regulator said it will be collecting more data on insurance policies including premiums, claims payments and processing stages, as well as outcomes for members across different member cohorts, including occupation categories.

APRA said it will be using a look-through approach to super fund expenditure and establishing more consistent reporting categories for more effective analysis and assessment of levels and types of expenditure.

Lastly, APRA said it will be expanding the reporting of asset allocation data to choice products and options, and collecting more consistent MySuper data to provide a more complete picture of super investments at the investment option level.

APRA added that it is now seeking feedback from industry ahead of finalising the nine reporting standards linked to Phase 1 early next year with Phase 2, depth, commencing shortly after.

APRA deputy chair Helen Rowell said the Superannuation Data Transformation was an essential component of APRA's strategic focus on improving member outcomes.

"APRA recognises that superannuation trustees are under pressure from a range of challenges associated with COVID-19. However additional, high quality data that is reported regularly and consistently is essential to understanding the outcomes funds are delivering their members, as well as identifying areas where they must improve," Rowell said.

"In particular, APRA remains strongly committed to increasing the transparency and accountability of the choice segment of the market, which represents $880 million of Australians' retirement balances."

Rowell said an enhanced superannuation data collection is also important for industry.

"Trustees should already be using this type of data to help them fulfil existing regulatory requirements, such as their Business Performance Review and legislated outcomes assessment," she said.

"If not, it would seem unlikely that they could truly understand the outcomes being delivered to their members and how they're performing relative to their peers."

Read more: APRASuperannuation DataHelen RowellBusiness Performance ReviewMySuper
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