Cross-agency process for retirement income stream products

ASIC's involvement in the cross-agency group helping industry in streamlining the development of innovative retirement income stream products.

From 1 July 2017, the government will extend the tax exemption on earnings in the retirement phase to new innovative retirement income stream products. These new products should provide consumers with greater choice and flexibility when considering their retirement product options. It will also help them manage the risk of outliving their retirement savings and enhance their standard of living in retirement.

To support the industry in developing new innovative retirement income stream products for members, the government is providing a single pathway for industry to engage with the agencies, including ASIC, about these products. The ATO will take lead responsibility as the coordinator of this new cross-agency process. The other members of the cross-agency group include DSS and APRA.

The use of the cross-agency process is voluntary. Product providers may still wish to contact ASIC in the usual course, including for relief applications.

What is ASIC’s role in the cross-agency process?

ASIC is responsible for investor and consumer protection in financial services, including superannuation and investments.

ASIC is principally responsible for the enforcement of the Corporations Act 2001 which regulates the conduct and disclosure obligations of financial services providers.  However, ASIC also administers some parts of the SIS Act as well.

ASIC issues regulatory guidance about the areas it regulates and may also issue instruments providing relief from the law in some cases.

ASIC does not formally approve superannuation or other products, or provide legal advice.  However, as with other regulators such as APRA, it can provide input to regulated entities on issues of concern.

ASIC can provide information and guidance to product providers regarding:

  • Disclosure documents – to assist product providers comply with the requirements of the Corporations Act 2001 regarding a financial product they have on offer for potential consumers and investors
  • Licensing requirements – Australian Financial Services (AFS) licensing authorisations, including to provide financial product advice
  • Conduct requirements - what is expected from participants in the financial services sector, particularly with regards to their relationship with consumers.

In some instances ASIC can exercise its discretionary powers to provide relief from certain provisions of the Corporations Act or Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 as they apply to a person, where this may result in atypical or unforeseen circumstances or unintended consequences.  This might be of relevance particularly to new and innovative product providers.  For further information see Regulatory Guide 51 Applications for relief .

How to apply

The cross-agency process is voluntary and can be used at any time during the development of an innovative retirement income stream product. It allows a product provider to test concepts and seek information and guidance on how these products meet the requirements of the relevant legislation.

From 1 July 2017 the ATO, will provide a central entry point and submission form for product providers to give details of the proposed innovative retirement income stream product.

Please note that this cross-agency process is separate from ASIC's Innovation Hub.  ASIC's innovation hub exists to foster innovation that could benefit consumers by helping Australian fintech startups navigate our regulatory system.

What's new

Insurance in Superannuation Voluntary Code of Practice

4 October 2019

ASIC has issued a letter to superannuation industry associations, outlining our observations and concerns about the implementation of the Insurance in Super Voluntary Code of Practice.

Read the letter

ASIC remakes instrument about departed former temporary residents’ unclaimed superannuation disclosure

ASIC has remade Class Order [CO 09/437] Departed former temporary residents superannuation – Disclosure relief, which was due to expire on 1 October 2019.

Read the media release  

View the instrument

Trustees warned about influencing employers through improper inducements

ASIC has issued guidance to superannuation trustees, reminding them that using improper inducements to influence employers in their choice of default fund is illegal.

Read the media release Read INFO 241

Lifting the Bar, Superfunds June 2019

ASIC is urging superannuation trustees to prioritise member interests when handling insurance claims and complaints.

In this month’s Superfunds magazine, Senior Executive Leader for Superannuation, Jane Eccleston explains why change is necessary and how small improvements can make a big difference for super fund members.

Read the article (PDF 376KB)

Member communications associated with the Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Bill 2018

11 April 2019

ASIC has issued a letter to superannuation industry associations to highlight expectations relating to member communications associated with the Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Bill 2018, particularly in relation to initial insurance cancellation notices to be issued by 1 May 2019.

Read the letter

ASIC and APRA publish joint letter on superannuation fees

10 April 2019

ASIC and APRA have published a joint letter to all registrable superannuation entity licensees to reinforce the importance of ensuring fees charged to members are in line with the members’ best interests.

Read the release and joint letter

Roundtable meetings on fees and cost disclosure

5 March 2019

ASIC held roundtable meetings on the RG 97 fees and costs disclosure regime:

- in Sydney on Monday 4 March 2019 at ASIC’s office at 100 Market Street, and

- in Melbourne on Tuesday 5 March 2019 at ASIC’s office at 120 Collins Street.

Find out more

Last updated: 30/06/2017 07:04