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APRA highlights heatmaps success

In its annual report, APRA highlighted the success of its MySuper heatmaps initiative - despite new government reform possibly making heatmaps redundant after they were only in effect for one year.

Following the Royal Commission, one of APRA's objectives was to drive super trustees to deliver quality outcomes for members.

This drove several new APRA initiatives, including the publication of the MySuper heatmaps.

"Another major achievement during the year was the publication of the MySuper heatmaps aimed at improving transparency, lifting industry practice and enhancing member outcomes by publicly identifying superannuation products that are underperforming in the areas of investment returns and fees," APRA said.

"The first MySuper heatmap was published in December 2019, with an updated version published in June 2020 to reflect changes to fees and costs since the original publication."

The regulator said that during the first year of heatmaps being active, it saw indications that the new strategy could have a positive influence.

"During the year, APRA supervisors had extensive interaction with superannuation trustees that present as 'red' on the heatmap to understand how they plan to address areas of identified underperformance," APRA said.

"Experience so far has been that the publication of the MySuper heatmaps has been an effective prudential tool, with 42% of MySuper members seeing a reduction in fees and costs since the publication of the first heatmap.

"This translates to 6.1 million members saving an aggregate of $110 million a year. In addition, a number of poorly performing funds and products have closed and transferred their members to better performing products."

However, with the government's new Your Future, Your Super reforms heatmaps are likely to change.

The new package of reforms includes an interactive comparison tool which allows members to see MySuper products ranked by fees and investment returns.

In light of this, deputy chair Helen Rowell confirmed APRA will consider potential changes to the next iteration of the heatmap which is planned for December 2020.

Read more: APRAMySuperHelen RowellRoyal Commission
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