APRA has completed the first phase of its superannuation data project, with its efforts to amass more granular details on the funds that will back its benchmarking and whipping of underperformers.
The Superannuation Data Transformation, launched in 2019, aimed to address the most urgent gaps in data reported by super trustees, with factors including expanding the data collection to include all products and investment options and collecting improved data on insurance arrangement, expenses, member demographics and asset allocation classifications.
APRA has marked phase 1 on the project completed, with the release of a response paper.
There are also 10 finalised new reporting standards covering registrable superannuation entities’ (RSE) structure and profile, performance, member demographics, expense management, asset allocation, insurance arrangement, and fees and costs.
The reporting framework has also been updated to facilitate legislative reforms under the proposed Your Future, Your Super changes.
APRA will also use the data on choice products to expand its heatmap and performance benchmarking, which currently measures MySuper products.
APRA deputy chair Helen Rowell said the completion of the first phase would be a major step in the regulator’s efforts to weed out underperformers and lift industry standards.
“Our significantly enhanced reporting framework will deliver more accurate, consistent and comparable data on fund performance, especially in areas where data is currently lacking or inadequate,” Ms Rowell said.
“Armed with new and deeper insights into aspects of the industry that have long been difficult to scrutinise, APRA supervisors will be in a stronger position to hold trustees to account for their decisions and the outcomes they deliver to all their members.”
She added trustees will be giving more granular information on expenditure, forcing greater transparency on their spending of members’ money.
“The new data collection also brings more consistency in key definitions and will enable stakeholders to make more meaningful comparisons when assessing who is doing well – and who is not,” Ms Rowell said.
“Not only will we collect more and better quality data through the SDT, we will also substantially lift the quantity of data we make public, enabling government, peer regulators, analysts and members to make better informed superannuation decisions.”
The bulk of the new data will be submitted from September, but APRA has amended the implementation time frame in response to industry feedback, allowing trustees to defer submissions of less critical information for a year.
The next phase, called Depth, will further increase the granularity of the super data collections and identify data collections that should be discontinued.
Industry consultation on phase 2 will commence in late 2021.
The third and final phase (Quality) will assess the quality and consistency of the outcomes from the two prior phases and address any implementation issues.
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
You can contact her on [email protected].
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