ASIC's role in super
ASIC is principally responsible for the enforcement of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) which regulates the conduct and disclosure obligations of financial services providers (including superannuation trustees that hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence).
As the conduct and disclosure regulator, ASIC’s role primarily concerns the relationship between trustees and individual consumers. ASIC aims to look after consumers ensuring they receive proper disclosure, are dealt with fairly by qualified people, continue to receive useful information about their investment or product and can access proper complaints-handling procedures. Promoting confident and informed investors and financial consumers is one of ASIC's strategic priorities.
ASIC's role in superannuation includes:
considering reports of misconduct and breach notifications
assessing AFS licence applications and exercising administrative powers (including stop orders on disclosure material, where appropriate) and
undertaking surveillances to ensure compliance with the provisions of the relevant Acts administered by ASIC.
We may also grant relief in appropriate circumstances, and provide policy guidance outlining ASIC's expectations in relation to certain requirements in the legislation.
Trustees that hold AFS licences with ASIC are required to notify ASIC of significant breaches under section 912D of the Corporations Act. See ASIC's Regulatory Guide 78 Breach Reporting by AFS licensees (RG 78).
If a trustee breaches both APRA-administered legislation and ASIC-administered legislation, the trustee may choose to use the APRA online form to notify ASIC as well as APRA of the breach. Further information is available on the APRA website.
ASIC also has a role in implementing Government reforms
Co-regulators and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal
Co-regulators of the superannuation industry are APRA and the ATO, with ASIC and APRA being principally responsible for the supervision of the Corporations Act 2001 and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 respectively. The ATO has a regulatory role in relation to self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs). Super funds also have important reporting and administrative obligations to the ATO.
ASIC has a memorandum of understanding in place with both ATO and APRA to help facilitate the exchange of information, where appropriate, between the regulators.
The Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) is an independent dispute resolution body which deals with superannuation-related complaints and offers a free, 'user-friendly' alternative to the court system. Further information about the types of complaints that can be considered, and the process for making a complaint, is available on the SCT website.
A single External Dispute Resolution body - the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) - will soon be established to replace the SCT and the other two dispute resolution schemes operating at present.
The Government has introduced new laws that change the way ASIC is funded. Under the new arrangements, regulated entities will receive an invoice for ASIC’s regulatory services delivered in the prior year.
Read more about Industry funding.