Super funds praise delay to efficiency shake-up

Superannuation industry groups have welcomed some breathing space on changes to the administration of super, the regulator deferring to their concerns that they couldn't meet the September quarter deadline.

Superannuation industry groups have welcomed some breathing space on changes to the administration of super, the regulator deferring to their concerns that they couldn't meet the September quarter deadline.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority said on Friday that super funds would not be required to report their progress with the changes until October next year.

The changes, called SuperStream, are designed to improve the "back office" of superannuation and cut costs. They will allow super fund members to track their accounts through an online portal and consolidate accounts electronically and require funds to establish standardised forms.

Cheques for super payments will be progressively phased out, in favour of online payments.

John Brogden, chief executive of the Financial Services Council, said APRA's decision was "practical and sensible given the substantial number of reforms the industry is yet to implement".

"We support measuring the efficiency benefits of SuperStream over time as we believe it will increase the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the industry," he said.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia said it was "pleased that APRA has indicated that they will consult with industry over the coming months".

The delay would "enable the industry to design and implement the collection and reporting of the relevant data", the association said.

Tom Garcia, CEO of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, said the body was "very pleased that APRA has listened to industry concerns".

"The whole industry is working with the regulator to ensure that the SuperStream reforms are implemented as smoothly as possible and deliver significant savings to members," he said.

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