‘Ideology gone mad’: Silk slams super veto laws

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 : 9-Apr-21

AustralianSuper CEO Ian Silk has criticised key elements of the federal government’s proposed superannuation reforms. He is particularly concerned about provisions of the ‘Your Future, Your Super’ bill which allow the government to block an investment by a super fund, even if it is in members’ best financial interests. Silk says that amongst other things, this raises genuine concerns about sovereign risk. David Knox of consultancy firm Mercer in turn warns that subjecting super funds to performance tests will result in lower returns over the longer term, as trustees will be reluctant to invest in some asset classes.

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AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, MERCER INVESTMENTS PTY LTD

Proposed super changes anti industry funds

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: Online : 5-Jan-21

ACTU assistant secretary Scott Connolly claims the federal government’s Your Future, Your Super legislation will disadvantage the $750 billion industry superannuation fund sector. Connolly notes proposed investment performance comparisons for "low-budget" MySuper accounts only include investment returns and exclude administration fees. He says industry funds typically charger lower administration fees, and Connolly claims the federal government is favouring for-profit super funds under the legislation. The proposed investment performance comparisons in the legislation currently only apply to the low budget MySuper sector, which industry super funds currently dominate.

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ACTU

More than $1b wrongly taken out of super

Original article by Ronald Mizen
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 4-Jan-21

Just under $36 billion had been withdrawn from superannuation under the federal government’s coronavirus early release scheme when the scheme closed at midnight on 1 January. The Australian Taxation Office has estimated that over $1 billion could have been incorrectly withdrawn by people who were not eligible for the scheme, but the ATO has noted that compliance with the scheme was very high. Superannuation Minister Senator Jane Hume contends the pandemic has made people pay more attention to how their super is being managed, but critics of the scheme claim it will have an adverse impact on people’s retirement savings.

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AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE

Super withdrawals hit $32bn as rush slows

Original article by Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 15 : 8-Sep-20

Data from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority shows that $32.6bn has now been withdrawn from superannuation funds via the federal government’s early access scheme. However, there is evidence to suggest that the rate of withdrawals is slowing, with just $380m paid out to fund members in the week to 30 August. This is the lowest weekly total since the scheme began. Meanwhile, Brendan Coates of the Grattan Institute says the scheme’s impact on retirement income has been overstated, although ACTU president Michele O’Neil disagrees with this view.

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AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, GRATTAN INSTITUTE, ACTU

Early access to super extended, Treasury reveals

Original article by Adrian Flores
My Business – Page: Online : 24-Jul-20

The federal government has extended the deadline for people wanting to apply for the early release of up to $10,000 from their superannuation fund from 24 September to 31 December. The government has also advised that the COVID-19 SME Guarantee Scheme has been extended to loans written until 30 June 2021, and that the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy has been extended for an additional six months to 31 March 2021, as well as being broadened to cover medium-sized businesses from 1 July.

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Funds face more outflows: APRA

Original article by Samantha Bailey
The Australian – Page: 15 : 7-Jul-20

Data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows that superannuation fund members have now withdrawn some $18.1bn via the federal government’s early access scheme. APRA expects the new financial year to prompt another surge in applications to withdraw money from super funds. People who have experienced financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic can withdraw up to $10,000 from their super fund in both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years.

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AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY

Early access super requests near $15bn

Original article by Gerard Cockburn
The Australian – Page: 15 : 16-Jun-20

Data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows that 2.12 million people have applied to withdraw money from their superannuation fund via the federal government’s early access scheme. Some $14.8bn has been paid out to 1.98 million fund members; AustralianSuper heads the list, having paid out $1.98bn to 264,404 members. The early access scheme has been criticised by the ACTU in a submission to a Senate committee hearing into the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, ACTU

Early super releases pass the $10b mark

Original article by Joanna Mather, Tom McIlroy, Michael Roddan
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 : 8-May-20

The federal government has advised that 1.2 million people have now applied to withdraw a total of $10.2bn from their superannuation fund via its early access scheme. Treasury had forecast that about $27bn in total will be withdrawn by people who have experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, the Australian Federal Police have executed five search warrants as part of an investigation into allegations that fraudsters are taking advantage of the scheme. Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan has told a Senate inquiry that about $120,000 has been stolen from super funds by fraudsters.

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AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

APRA to probe super payouts

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 : 1-May-20

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority generally expects superannuation funds to release money under the federal government’s early access scheme within five business days. APRA requires super funds to provide it with a range of data every week regarding the early access regime, and a spokesman says it is prepared to pursue enforceable action against funds that do not pay eligible members within an appropriate time-frame. APRA is collecting both industry-level and fund-level data, which will be publicly disclosed.

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AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY

Big super warns of cash-in risk

Original article by Joanna Mather, Tony Boyd, Aleks Vickovich
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 3-Apr-20

Treasury has forecast that about $27bn in total will be withdrawn from superannuation funds after the federal government relaxed the rules governing early access for people who have been impacted by the pandemic. AustralianSuper CEO Ian Silk notes that industry estimates suggest that withdrawals could top $50bn. He adds that some super funds may struggle to cope with a big increase in withdrawals, but stresses that it will not be an issue for AustralianSuper. Silk also warns that a surge in withdrawals will affect the super industry’s capacity to invest in and recapitalise businesses when the crisis abates.

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AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD