APRA is releasing an instrument to exempt a specified class of persons from compliance with the change of control and ownership provisions of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act).1 The instrument applies with effect from 15 August 2023.
The change of ownership and control provisions in the SIS Act commenced on 5 July 2019. These provisions require persons to obtain approval from APRA to own or hold a controlling stake of more than 15 per cent in an RSE licensee. The provisions ensure that such persons are subject to a rigorous approval process, and impose severe penalties for a person that obtains a stake greater than 15 per cent without APRA’s approval to do so.
On 19 April 2023, APRA commenced consultation on a draft instrument that would remove the requirement for a class of RSE licensee directors to obtain approval to own or control an RSE licensee. In general, the instrument would apply to persons whose shareholding in the RSE licensee:
is as a condition of their role as a trustee director of the RSE licensee (and must be forfeited when they cease to be a director of the RSE licensee);
does not carry with it an entitlement to any financial benefit directly arising from the shareholding; and
is only considered to be a stake based on the definition of association.
APRA received four submissions, all of which supported the proposed class exemption. Submissions agreed that the class exemption would reduce administrative burden without compromising regulatory standards. Technical feedback from stakeholders has been reflected in minor amendments to ensure the class exemption operates as intended.