Unlisted asset valuations, early release of superannuation and heatmaps are some of the key areas APRA will prioritise over the next 12-18 months.
COVID-19 has forced APRA to reassess the urgency of a number of key initiatives affecting superannuation members as detailed in its recently released 2020-24 Corporate Plan.
While the early release of superannuation continues to be a top priority, APRA listed other areas of improvements in the sector that require its focus in the short term, one of which is unlisted asset valuations.
Before the end of 2021, it wants to develop an implementation plan that reviews unlisted asset valuations, the board of trustees' capability, and complete the thematic review on outsourcing.
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Before 1 January 2022, the prudential regulator wants to publish enhanced versions of the MySuper, insurance and choice heatmaps.
At the end of the 2022 financial year, it aims to: finalise strengthening prudential standards SPS250 Insurance and SPS530 Investment Governance.
By the same timeframe, APRA will release reporting standards and deliver the first phase of the data transformation project. The type of data APRA will gather will provide more information on super investments at the investment option level; it will also collect more data on insurance policies including premiums, claims payments and processing stages.
As for life insurance, APRA acknowledged the challenges the sector faces as a result of "elevated risk" in deteriorating claims experience and the tightening of assumptions, together with rising unemployment and mental health issues that may push up claims.
Furthermore, APRA said it will assess the impact of the evolving external environment on: liquidity and investment risk, defined benefit funds, the loss of member accounts, and the operational resilience of key service providers such as administrators.
Across the broad, chair Wayne Byres said APRA has been flexible and responsive to the rapidly changing environment.
"It has meant that many aspects of last year's plan have had to be adjusted to ensure APRA is able to dedicate increased resources towards the critical objective of maintaining the resilience of the financial system, in order to maintain public confidence and support the recovery process," he said.