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A stronger prudential regime for superannuation.



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MINISTER FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES AND REGULATION

NO. FSR/079

A Stronger Prudential Regime for Superannuation

The superannuation of Australia's working men and women will be better protected following the passage through the Senate this week of Financial Sector Legislation Amendment Bill (No.1) 2000.

The Bill strengthens the enforcement parts of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act). It improves the enforceability of offence provisions under the SIS Act, by converting some of them from fault liability to strict liability offences.

These offences are already criminal offences under the Act, and the Bill does not seek to impose greater penalties.

Fault liability offences had proven extremely difficult to enforce, and this had the potential to seriously undermine the effectiveness of the prudential requirements of the SIS Act.

Some of the offences now attracting strict liability include failure to:

lodge an annual return within the prescribed period; ● keep minutes and records of trustee meetings; ● keep copies of reports given to fund members or beneficiaries; ● keep accounting records; and ●

provide information requested by the Regulators. ●

"The law has been tightened to protect employees’ retirement incomes. Trustees must ensure that they submit their audited annual returns on time and notify APRA of changes of address, or face the prospect of personal fines," Minister Hockey said.

"Protecting the pool of super savings, which is fast approaching $500 billion, is of paramount importance to the Government.

"The improved enforcement powers and offence provisions in this Bill will reinforce to anyone administering super that they have major responsibilities under the SIS Act. If they don't act prudently, they will face the consequences."

7 December 2000

Media contact: Matthew Abbott, Minister's office, 02 6277 7230, 0413 076 213

 

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