Regulators praise super law reform

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) have jointly welcomed the proposed legislative reforms increasing the role of ASIC in the superannuation industry.

The proposed changes come after recommendations from the Royal Commission and include expanding ASIC's role as conduct regulator while retaining APRA's role as the prudential and member outcomes regulator in superannuation.

ASIC commissioner Danielle Press said: "ASIC and APRA have a shared commitment to improving the fitness of the superannuation system for Australians, and we strongly support these reforms."

"The reforms will strengthen ASIC's ability to effectively regulate superannuation trustee conduct and focus on consumer protection in our regulation of superannuation."

The changes to ASIC's role will be accompanied by an enhancement in the cooperation and collaboration between the two regulators, which was strengthened by a Memorandum of Understanding updated last year.

"All trustees have an interest in a robust regulatory system, without gaps in member protection," Press said.

"We want to assure trustees that ASIC and APRA will work together to ensure the new regime is effective and to reduce duplication of regulatory effort."

APRA deputy chair Helen Rowell said APRA welcomes ASIC having an expanded role in regulating the superannuation sector.

"As the conduct regulator of the financial sector, ASIC has a critical role to play in tackling misconduct in superannuation, while APRA will continue to strengthen its focus on member-outcomes and prudential soundness," Rowell said.

Both regulators have issued a joint letter to superannuation trustees about how regulatory oversight will operate assuming the reforms become law.

The letter explains how they will work together to more effectively promote better outcomes for members, acknowledging that in doing so consideration needs to be given to reducing regulatory burden.

"These reforms increase the already existing areas of common interest in APRA and ASIC's roles. APRA and ASIC recognise the importance of a close working relationship between regulators and are already working together to lift industry practices and achieve better outcomes for members," the letter said.

Read more: ASICAPRADanielle PressHelen RowellAustralian Prudential Regulation Authority
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