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APRA signals focus on retirement products performance

By Mike Taylor6 January 2022

First it was superannuation fund performance heatmaps, then it was the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) super investment performance test and now the regulator is signalling it may apply performance measurement to retirement income products.

In a submission to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee review of the legislation intended to deliver the Retirement Income Covenant, APRA has signalled the degree to which it intends holding superannuation funds to account over the retirement income products they provide under the covenant arrangement.

In its submission it said it intended to communicate with the industry to “make clear APRA’s expectations of RSE (superannuation fund) licensees in implementing the covenant”.

“This communication will also highlight the expansion in supervisory focus to the retirement phase expected to follow the commencement of the covenant,” it said.

“Supervision of RSE licensees’ compliance with the covenant would apply in accordance with APRA’s existing prudential framework structure, with the expectation that RSE licensees have a strong focus on the retirement income needs of their beneficiaries, that member outcomes are optimised and retirement income strategies are developed in the best financial interests of the beneficiaries,” APRA’s submission said.

“Over time, APRA would consider expanding its data collection for retirement income products and the development of further tools that would give a sharper focus on the performance of these products.”

“APRA intends that its prudential framework changes will support compliance with the Retirement Income Covenant. APRA will continue to work closely with the Treasury, ASIC and the ATO in ensuring the success of these reforms.”

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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