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APRA consults on increased transparency of super fund expenditure

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is consulting on proposals that would significantly increase visibility of how superannuation members’ money is spent and invested.

APRA has written to superannuation trustees inviting their feedback on its plans to publish total fund expenditure and expanded asset allocation data by mid-2024.

The data will be collected later this year following recent amendments to reporting standards under Phase 1 of APRA’s Superannuation Data Transformation, a multi-year project to enhance the depth, breadth and quality of data collected. APRA’s initial proposal is to determine most of the new superannuation data collected as being non-confidential and, therefore, able to be published. 

APRA is initially proposing to publish:

  • total expenses for the industry by category and by internal, related outsourced and non-related outsourced arrangements for administration and operating expenses and for investment expenses;
  • total expenses at individual fund level by category, including expenditure for marketing and sponsorships, industrial bodies, related parties, director and executive remuneration, and political donations by payee or service provider;
  • total expenses with the name of the service provider where the provider is a promoter (such as a third party that receives a benefit for marketing a fund); and
  • additional aggregated asset allocation data for fund investments in property and infrastructure, alternative strategy funds, listed equity and private equity. APRA will seek trustee feedback on publishing the data at an individual fund level as well. 

APRA Deputy Chair Margaret Cole said: “These proposals represent an important step forward in achieving greater transparency in superannuation.”

“It is APRA’s aim to publish as much of the data that we collect as possible, especially where there is a strong public interest in having access to high quality industry data that is comparable across funds.

“Under these proposals, members would have a clearer and more detailed picture of how their money is being spent and invested, while trustees would be further compelled to remain closely focused on improving member outcomes,” Ms Cole said.

The consultation, which will include two roundtable discussions with trustees and other industry stakeholders, closes on 29 November 2023. APRA will liaise closely with stakeholders on their feedback as APRA assesses what data to publish.

A copy of the letter to industry is available on APRA website at: Phase 1 Breadth - Consultation on Publications and Confidentiality.

Superannuation Data Transformation

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The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is the prudential regulator of the financial services industry. It oversees banks, mutuals, general insurance and reinsurance companies, life insurance, private health insurers, friendly societies, and most members of the superannuation industry. APRA currently supervises institutions holding around $9 trillion in assets for Australian depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.