The start date for the portfolio holdings disclosure requirement for super funds has been pushed back until 1 July 2019, marking the fourth time the measure has been deferred.
Two key elements of the Stronger Super regime, namely portfolio holdings disclosure and the product dashboard for choice funds, will now commence on 1 July 2019 and 31 December 2019, respectively.
The new start date of 1 July 2019 for the portfolio holdings disclosure is five years after the initial start date and almost seven years after the legislation was passed by Parliament.
The announcement by ASIC of the deferral of the Stronger Super measures marks the fourth time the industry has persuaded the government to delay their start.
The portfolio holdings disclosure rules were part of the MySuper legislation that was passed by the Labor government in November 2012.
Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation at the time, Bill Shorten, said the changes would "improve the transparency of superannuation" by requiring funds to publish their full portfolio holdings on their website twice annually.
Successful lobbying by the super industry since 2012 has now delayed the implementation of the reforms four times.
The main objection of super funds has been that the requirement to list individual holdings would be a costly burden involving thousands of lines of data, reveal proprietary information (particularly of hedge funds), expose super funds to lobbying by special interest groups and even create a 'moral hazard'.
Following the passage of the legislation by the Labor government in 2012, the initial start date of 1 July 2014 was pushed back to 1 July 2015 by Coalition Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.
On 1 May 2015, ASIC announced the measures would be delayed again until 1 July 2016 to "allow the federal government further time to consult on the detail of the requirements".
Then on 4 May 2016 the start date was deferred once again until 1 July 2017. As a result of yesterday's announcement, the intended start date is now 1 July 2019.
ASIC said in its statement, "The deferrals will provide industry with certainty about the commencement dates of the requirements, reduce the administrative burden on industry and provide it with time to finalise their preparation for the introduction of the requirements."
ASIC has also extended regulatory relief to super funds that are already offering a product dashboard.
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