Minor amendments to superannuation reporting standards put forward by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) have been generally well received by the industry.
Last November, the regulator began consulting on proposed amendments to reporting standards introduced under Phase 1 of its Superannuation Data Transformation (SDT).
At the time, the regulator explained these amendments would clarify investment option reporting and expenses reporting, reduce the frequency of reporting for some requirements and increase the time for submission of data for some requirements.
APRA received nine written submissions in response to the proposals, including from the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) and the Financial Services Council (FSC) as well as super funds AustralianSuper and Aware Super.
The regulator also held two roundtables, two working groups with registrable superannuation entity (RSE) licensees, and meetings with super industry stakeholders and RSE licensees.
While submissions were said to be “generally supportive”, APRA noted that they also raised some issues, particularly in relation to proposed implementation time frames and the time required to source and compile investments data each quarter.
In response to the feedback received, the regulator said it has now amended the implementation time frames for the updated reporting standards.
APRA had proposed an extension of the reporting time frame for actual investments data under SRS 550 Asset Allocation and investment benchmark performance under SRS 705.1 Investment Performance and Objectives from 28 to 35 calendar days.
“While submissions were supportive of extending the time to report investments data, many submissions indicated that 35 days was still not sufficient for the data to be finalised post quarter end and then flow through the multiple layers of industry participants, with some stakeholders requesting up to eight weeks to submit the data,” the regulator said.
APRA said that it acknowledged the feedback and challenges on the reporting timeline for compiling actual investments data as at the end of the quarter.
“In balancing the need for timely data to inform APRA’s supervision activities against the incremental improvement in accuracy expected from allowing additional time, APRA has further extended the reporting period to 40-days for data that is not required for the performance test,” it said.
Meanwhile, the regulator had also previously proposed that all service providers, related parties, industrial bodies or payees who are paid any political donations, as well as marketing-related expenses of more than $10,000, must be identified.
“Submissions were supportive of the continuation of a materiality threshold for identifying payees, although there was mixed feedback about how a materiality threshold should be applied, including feedback that sponsorship payments should be excluded from the small payee threshold for materiality,” APRA said.
Based on the feedback received, APRA noted it has updated SRS 332.0 Expenses so that all payees who are paid expenses with the expense type ‘sponsorship’ must be identified regardless of the expense amount. The regulator has also reduced the materiality threshold for identifying payees for other marketing related expenses from $10,000 to $5,000.
“The consultation also raised concerns from industry that RSE licensees will not have sufficient time and capacity to implement the minor amendments as well as engaging with planned consultation on Phase 2 reporting standards,” APRA noted.
“In response to this feedback, together with the complex scope of Phase 2 and the regulatory changes impacting RSEs, APRA has revised the Phase 2 consultation timeline.”
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.