Skip to main content

Super funds told they can’t outsource blame

Mike Taylor2 February 2024
suited figures pointing finger

Australian superannuation funds have been told in no uncertain terms that they cannot outsource blame to their service providers.

Both the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have left fund executives and trustees in no doubt that they must be responsible for the actions of service providers and contractors.

The message was sent by the deputy chairs of APRA and ASIC, Margaret Cole and Sarah Court who used their addresses to a Sydney forum to underscore that the regulators would not tolerate the outsourcing of blame.

ASIC’s Court referenced superannuation funds falling short on death benefit claims handling and said she “noted some commentary from funds attributing these delays to administrative outsourcing”.

“But this is not an answer to the issue. It is the trustee that has the legal responsibility to ensure it can meet the legal obligations owed to members, irrespective of the administrative arrangements the fund chooses to adopt. The legal obligations on trustees cannot be outsourced,” Court said.

For her part, APRA’s Cole called an end to the days of “set and forget” where superannuation fund service providers are concerned.

“…the days of trustees pointing the finger at a service provider for failures or breaches, which is a behaviour and mindset that APRA has observed from some entities,” she said.

“If you outsource processes supporting any critical operations and something goes wrong in the delivery of service to your members, you remain on the hook.”

“The expectation is that you will understand how the service provider operates in regard to your critical operations, the suppliers it uses, the risk it faces in delivering your critical operations, and how those risks are mitigated,” Cole said.

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

Subscribe to comments
Be notified of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Industry Super never busted
20 days ago

But surely it can’t be any Industry Super ever at fault.
Of course not says APRA & ASIC we will never do anything against Industry Super but we have to make these public announcements to look like we are doing something. Funny hey.
See you in the Industry Super Corporate Box for a few more beers at footy & cricket. huh huh huh
REGULATORY CAPTURE CORRUPTION at its worst, ASIC, APRA and Industry Super.