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.