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Super trustees in breach of transparency requirements

Super trustees in breach of transparency requirements

To ensure compliance with transparency requirements around super fund websites, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has intervened in relation to 21 of Australia’s superannuation trustees.

According to ASIC, a recent survey found that these trustees had failed to disclose and/or keep up to date the required transparency information regarding remuneration, governance and other information related to the fund, as required by the Stronger Super reforms.

ASIC deputy chairman, Peter Kell, emphasised the importance of transparency in the economically-significant superannuation industry for fund members, analysts, advisers and journalists.

“ASIC’s expectation is that super fund websites should be easily found by searching on the fund’s name using an Internet search engine and that the website homepage should prominently point to the Transparency Information.”

Twenty-one super fund websites were identified as failing to meet transparency requirements, with two of these funds being large institutions with assets exceeding $10 billion.

Following its review, ASIC contacted the trustees of the 21 super funds to request these transparency failures be addressed. As a result:

  • Seven trustees disclosed the required information
  • Five made it easier to find the information
  • Trustees of two small funds, who did not have websites, sought relief from transparency information obligations
  • Seven trustees transferred fund members to another fund before winding up the fund
  • Two trustees also improved their procedures for ensuring that transparency information is up to date

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