Licensing guidelines for superannuation
Who needs a superannuation licence?
Under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (the SIS Act), if you intend to operate a registerable superannuation entity (RSE), you must hold an RSE licence issued by APRA.
- APRA-regulated superannuation funds;
- small APRA funds (SAFs);
- approved deposit funds (ADFs); and
- pooled superannuation trusts (PSTs).
RSEs do not include exempt public sector superannuation schemes (EPSSS) or self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) regulated by the Australian Taxation Office.
Who can apply for an RSE license?
A constitutional corporation, a body corporate that is not a constitutional corporation, and a group of individual trustees may apply for a licence. A group of individual trustees is licensed as a group. That is, individual trustees are not required to have a licence. The licence will be issued to the group of trustees.
RSE license classes
- Public offer entity licence – Allows the licensee to operate a public offer RSE as defined in s.18 of the SIS act.
- Non-public offer entity licence – Allows the licensee to be the trustee of RSEs which are not covered by the public offer entity licence, such as corporate superannuation funds. If you are a group of individual trustees you must nominate this licence class and you will be restricted to operating a non-public offer RSE.
- Extended public offer entity licence – Allows the licensee to operate both public offer RSEs and non-public offer RSEs under one licence.
- Acting Trustee licence – If APRA suspends or removes all of the trustees of a RSE, APRA must appoint a corporation or an individual to act as the trustee during the period of suspension or until the vacancy in the position of the trustee is filled. The appointee is called the ‘acting trustee’. Acting trustees must hold an acting trustee RSE licence issued by APRA.
For more information on the licensing of RSE trustees see the RSE licence instruction guide. The guidelines outline APRA’s licensing process for RSE trustees, including the minimum criteria to be addressed by applicants and the necessary information required to be lodged with an application.
Before you lodge your application for a RSE licence, ensure you have read and are familiar with the prudential framework for superannuation, including relevant legislation, prudential standards and prudential practice guides. You can find all of this information on the superannuation page.
The applicable approved form should be completed and lodged with APRA with the required supporting information and applicable additional attachments.
Additional attachments for RSE licence application form:
Additional attachments for Acting trustee licence application form:
If APRA suspends or removes all of the trustees of a RSE, APRA must appoint a corporation or an individual to act as the trustee during the period of suspension or until the vacancy is filled. Currently APRAhas sufficient Acting Trustee licensees to enable it to appoint an acting Trustee should it need to do so. Should APRA’s requirements change, and more acting trustees be required, notice will be given on this website. If you have any queries about applying for an acting trustee licence please contact the licensing team licensing [at] apra.gov.au.
There are various application fees for an RSE licence application depending on the class of licence being applied for and whether a previous application has been made in the last 12 months. For more information and to determine the correct fee for your application, please see the Schedule of fees.
Change of details
Where an application has been lodged with APRA and changes have been made to the composition of the board or group of individual trustees before APRA has ruled on the application, you must notify APRA on the changes using the following approved forms.
All RSEs must be registered with APRA prior to commencing operations. Trustees must have been granted an RSE licence to be able to register an RSE.
Although there is no requirement to do so, APRA strongly encourages you to submit a draft RSE registration form with your RSE licence application. While you cannot register an RSE until you are granted your RSE licence, by submitting a draft application form with your RSE licence application APRA can co-ordinate the registration with the granting of your RSE licence. The RSE can then commence operations as soon as your RSE licence is granted.
The same principle is applicable to the authorisation to offer a MySuper Product or an Eligible Rollover Fund. The authorisation under the SIS Act can only be issued to RSE licence holders. However, if you submit a draft application with your RSE licence application, APRA can co-ordinate the authorisation with your licence application. You will need to have registered for an AUSkey linked to your Trustee ABN to be able to access the online forms.
You can find out more about RSE registration and MySuper or ERF authorisation on the following webpages:
For more information email the APRA Licensing team at licensing [at] apra.gov.au.