Super fees twice as high for under 35s

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 10-Oct-19

Rainmaker Information Services has released a report which shows that workers who are under the age of 35 pay an average fee of 2.3 per cent, compared with just 1.2 per cent for those aged 35+. The report also contends that male workers pay an average of 1.1 per cent in super fees, compared with 1.3 per cent for female workers. Alex Dunnin of Rainmaker stresses that super funds are not overcharging or ripping members off; rather, the super industry has not been designed with young workers and those with low balances in mind.

CORPORATES
RAINMAKER INFORMATION SERVICES PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE

Super fee gap shrinking as retail funds catch up

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 9-Oct-19

Data from Rainmaker shows that the superannuation industry’s fees fell by about four per cent in 2018-19, to $31.8bn. It was the first decline in fees since 2014, with retail super funds recording the biggest fall. Rainmaker notes that as a result, the traditional fee gap between retail and industry super funds has narrowed to almost zero. This is particularly so in the case of MySuper funds; the average fee for non-profit MySuper products is now 1.15 per cent, compared with an average of 1.17 per cent for retail MySuper products.

CORPORATES
RAINMAKER INFORMATION SERVICES PTY LTD

Cbus’ climate change quotas queried

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 6-Sep-19

Construction industry superannuation fund Cbus will allocate one per cent of its $52 billion worth of funds under management to climate change initiatives. Its decision has been queried by Senator James Paterson, who said that establishing quotas seems like a bad idea; Paterson is the chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services. Scott Donald, the director of the Centre for Law, Markets & Regulation at the University of New South Wales, says Cbus is not violating any laws by making such a decision.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND, AUSTRALIA. JOINT COMMITTEE ON CORPORATIONS AND FINANCIAL SERVICES, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Watchdog takes aim at Medibank as patients denied payments

Original article by Sarah-Jane Tasker
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 4-Sep-19

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has launched legal action against Medibank Private, accusing the health insurer of making false representations about the benefits covered by its policies. It will be alleged that Medibank had wrongly advised customers that its AHM Lite and Boost policies did not cover medical procedures such as knee reconstructions and spinal surgery. ACCC chairman Rod Sim says this forced many policyholders to delay necessary surgery.

CORPORATES
MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, AHM HEALTH INSURANCE, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Self-managed funds defy the big industry players

Original article by Robert Gottliebsen
The Australian – Page: 26 : 30-Aug-19

Australia has around 590,000 self-managed superannuation funds, with assets under management totalling $747 billion. This puts the SMSF sector ahead of both industry super funds ($718 billion) and retail super funds ($625 billion) in terms of size. Despite both industry and retail funds having forecast the demise of the SMSF sector for some time, figures released by the SMSF Association show that almost 30 per cent of new SMSFs have trustees (members) between the ages of 35 and 44. Given the revelations of the Hayne royal commission, it is not surprising that many SMSF members do not trust the big super funds.

CORPORATES
SMSF ASSOCIATION, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP

Book of death bid to keep default life insurance

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 12-Aug-19

Parliament is due to vote on legislation in September that would see people under 25 and those with low account balances no longer automatically receive life insurance through their superannuation. It has been estimated the measure could reduce the premiums that life insurance companies receive by almost $3 billion. It is believed lobbyists for life insurer TAL have circulated a document featuring examples of dead and injured workers who have received insurance payouts but who would not have done so under the proposed changes. The document has been dubbed ‘the book of death’ by some MPs.

CORPORATES
TAL LIMITED

Investors query AMP turnaround

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 9-Aug-19

AMP has announced a loss of $2.3bn for the first half of 2019 and a new strategy to turn around its fortunes. Amongst other things, the wealth manager aims to reduce costs by about $300m a year. AMP has also flagged plans to significantly reduce the number of financial advisers in its network and place more emphasis on so-called roboadvice. AMP will also continue to pursue the sale of its life insurance business to Resolution Life, while it will issue new shares at $1.50 apiece via a $650m capital raising.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Health insurance exodus continues at alarming rate

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 26-Jul-19

The percentage of Australians aged between 20 and 28 with private health insurance cover for hospitals fell by 6.9 per cent in 2018, according to data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. The overall percentage of Australians with hospital cover at the end of 2018 was 44.6 per cent, the lowest level since December 2006. The latest data follow a recent report from the Grattan Institute which claimed that the private health insurance sector is in a "death spiral" because of the continued decline of people with cover.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, GRATTAN INSTITUTE, NIB HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NHF, MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL

Revealed – the worst default super funds

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 19-Jul-19

Industry Super Australia’s analysis of data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows that Hostplus and Cbus are among the MySuper funds that have delivered the best returns over the last five years. However, Max Super is the only retail fund in ISA’s list of the 20 best-performing MySuper funds. The super funds of the Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are among the MySuper funds that delivered the lowest returns over the period.

CORPORATES
INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, HOST-PLUS, CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND, MAX SUPER PTY LTD, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, SARGON, BLACKROCK INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION

Mergers loom as regulator changes tactics

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd, Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 18-Jul-19

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chairman Wayne Byres concedes that regulating superannuation funds is more problematic than banks, as the latter are not subject to capital requirements. Ian Fryer of Chant West says APRA will be much more proactive in regulating the super industry in the wake of its capability review, adding that increased regulatory attention may accelerate consolidation in the sector. Cbus also anticipates merger activity in the sector as underperforming funds come under greater scrutiny.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, CHANT WEST FINANCIAL SERVICES PTY LTD, CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND, INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD