Binding Nomination Made Under Power of Attorney – some answers

Can a superannuation fund accept a binding death benefit nomination executed under a power of attorney?  This is a question funds have been asking for a long time.  Finally, we have some answers. On 24 August 2018, the Supreme Court of Queensland considered this question in depth in Re Narumon Pty Ltd [2018] QSC 185. …

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Lessons and a warning for super fund directors and senior executives

On 1 May, the Federal Treasurer issued a severe warning for directors and senior executives of financial institutions.  He said that APRA’s Report into breaches by the Commonwealth Bank is “required reading” for all financial institutions – not just bank boards and they need to: “read it very closely and ask themselves the hard questions…

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Same-sex Marriage and Superannuation

Same-sex marriage and Superannuation Superannuation fund trustees need to be alert to the impact the same-sex marriage laws have in superannuation.  The new law changed the definition of “spouse”, which has a flow-on effect to definitions in the SIS Act of “spouse”, “dependant” and “relative”. Death benefits Some think the new laws aren’t relevant for…

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Mercer v Billinghurst: Some lessons for trustees

Last week, the Full Court of the Federal Court handed down judgement in Mercer Superannuation (Australia) Limited v Billinghurst.[1]  Greenfields acted for Mr Billinghurst.  This was the third decision against the trustee (following the determination of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal[2] (SCT) and the judgment of Moshinsky J in first instance[3]). Mr Billinghurst was a retired…

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ASIC Reports Findings from 2 Projects

ASIC has released a report (Report 529) of its findings from 2 projects examining experiences of superannuation members and the effectiveness of superannuation disclosures. ASIC’s findings and expectations have significant ramifications for the industry, whether or not you agree with them. The report contains some interesting conclusions relating to insurance disclosures and claims including: It…

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Fees and Costs Headache Continues

In our last blog on the fees and costs saga, we held the hope that more clarity would follow in relation to ASIC’s announcement of the deferral of the end of the transition period to implement updated fees and costs disclosure requirements in product disclosure statements (from 1 February 2017 to 30 September 2017). While…

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ASIC “clarifies” fees and costs

In late November, ASIC issued ASIC Corporations (Amendment and Repeal) Instrument 2015/876 (Instrument). This is ASIC’s latest attempt to clarify the fees and costs disclosure requirements under the Corporations Act 2001 (Act) for product disclosure statements and periodic statements issued by superannuation trustees (fee disclosure requirements), so that more accurate and consistent information about fees and costs…

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Update: The Beck decision

Supplementary NSW Supreme Court decision: 
Beck v Colonial Staff Super Pty Ltd (No.2) July 2015 decision In July this year, the NSW Supreme Court (Court) upheld a claim that the actions of the trustee of the Commonwealth Bank Officers’ Fund were void. In particular, the Court held that the deletion of a discretionary power to…

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Bill introduced for “Independent Directors”

Legislation to mandate independent directors for superannuation trustees was introduced on 16 September 2015. A number of changes have been made since the Exposure Draft was issued in June. The most significant changes are to the meaning of “independent”. We have prepared a comparison of the relevant tests of independence under the Exposure Draft and the…

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Digital disclosure regime brings big changes

In July ASIC released two instruments to provide greater flexibility for making disclosures to investors: ASIC Corporations (Facilitating Electronic Delivery of Financial Services Disclosure) Instrument 2015/647 ASIC Corporations (Removing Barriers to Electronic Disclosures) Instrument 2015/649 ASIC has also updated “RG 221: Facilitating digital financial services disclosures” to reflect the changes made by the new instruments.…

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