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APRA takes next steps to expand its superannuation data collection

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released the final consultation package for Phase 1 of its project to expand the breadth, depth and consistency of its superannuation data collection.

Launched last November, APRA’s multi-year Superannuation Data Transformation aims to improve member outcomes by enhancing the comparability and consistency of reported data on APRA-regulated superannuation funds. Phase 1 of the project (Breadth) addresses the highest priority gaps in APRA’s data collection, particularly for choice products and investment options.

Today’s consultation package contains topic papers, draft reporting standards and data collection templates covering four areas:

  • Fees and costs: expanding APRA’s collection of fee and cost disclosure data to choice products and options, and providing key forward-looking drivers of member outcomes for all superannuation products;
  • Insurance arrangements: collecting more data on insurance policies including premiums, claims payments and processing stages, as well as outcomes for members across different member cohorts, including occupation categories;
  • Expense reporting: utilising a look-through approach to superannuation fund expenditure and establishing more granular and consistent reporting categories to enable more effective analysis and assessment of levels and types of expenditure; and
  • Asset allocation: expanding the reporting of asset allocation data to choice products and options, and collecting more granular and consistent MySuper data to provide a more complete picture of superannuation investments at the investment option level.

APRA is now seeking feedback from industry ahead of finalising the nine reporting standards linked to Phase 1 early next year. Phase 2 (Depth) will commence shortly thereafter.

APRA Deputy Chair Helen Rowell said the Superannuation Data Transformation was an essential component of APRA’s strategic focus on improving member outcomes. 

“APRA recognises that superannuation trustees are under pressure from a range of challenges associated with COVID-19. However additional, high quality data that is reported regularly and consistently is essential to understanding the outcomes funds are delivering their members, as well as identifying areas where they must improve,” Mrs Rowell said.

“In particular, APRA remains strongly committed to increasing the transparency and accountability of the choice segment of the market, which represents $880 million of Australians’ retirement balances. The data reported through APRA’s Superannuation Data Transformation is fundamental to our plan to include choice products and options in an expanded version of our MySuper Product Heatmap

“An enhanced superannuation data collection is also important for industry. Trustees should already be using this type of data to help them fulfil existing regulatory requirements, such as their Business Performance Review and legislated outcomes assessment. If not, it would seem unlikely that they could truly understand the outcomes being delivered to their members and how they’re performing relative to their peers.”

The latest Superannuation Data Collection consultation package is available on APRA’s website at: Consultation on APRA's Superannuation Data Transformation.

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.