Rapid pace of regulatory change to continue

APRA's executive general manager Suzanne Smith said superannuation funds should expect the pace of regulatory change to continue into 2020 as she addressed the 2019 ASFA conference in Melbourne.

Using her speech to reflect on the changes experienced by the industry, Smith said it has been a significant year for both super funds and the regulatory body.

"Looking ahead to next year, what we expect is a continuation of what has been the prevailing environment of the last few years (at least), with ongoing political and economic uncertainty," she said.

"And there will be no let-up in our increasing expectation of trustees around the delivery of improved outcomes for members and importantly making good judgements around the risk return trade-offs."

Smith said as the industry continues to see changes to business models and fund structures, APRA us urging trustees to stay vigilant.

"It is crucial that trustees look at the whole picture to manage the risks and the sizeable projects that more and more trustees are undertaking in response to the increasing complexity of, and competition within, the industry."

Smith added that prudential regulator is encouraging trustees to focus on simplification saying driving consolidation at the product level should be a priority.

"With over 40,000 choice products in the market, the complexity for the consumer is overwhelming, and trustees should be considering simplifying their offering," Smith said.

Smith acknowledged that the ever-changing regulatory environment has been difficult to work around for many funds, and said APRAs aim was to work closely with the industry to create the best outcomes.

"As regulators, we acknowledge that there is often a lot of regulatory change impacting your business concurrently. Coupled with the pace of legislative change from the government, we know this can be challenging to manage."

"The discussion around the regulator table is about how we can get greater visibility of what agencies are planning so that, wherever possible, we can align, sequence or collaborate to reduce the impact and impost."

Read more: APRASuzanne SmithASFAMelbourne
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