The promotion of self-managed investment options by APRA funds as a way to obtain the same level of choice and control as an SMSF has been labelled a “notable concern” by ASIC.
In a public statement, ASIC said it had identified several compliance issues in its surveillance of responsible entities and superannuation trustees that are holders of an Australian Financial Services Licence.
One of these notable concerns was the “promotion of 'self-managed' investment options which, on occasions, gave the impression that they provided members with the same level of choice and control as a self-managed superannuation fund”.
“In fact, investing in the self-managed investment option did not afford members the same rights and responsibilities for the fund’s management as an investment in a self-managed superannuation fund and often, the range of assets in which members could invest was restricted,” the regulator said in the statement.
ASIC stated it is also concerned that the promotional material and advertisements for financial products did not contain balanced messages about product risks and benefits, as stipulated in Regulatory Guide 234 Advertising financial products and services (including credit): Good practice guide.
ASIC commissioner Peter Kell said the superannuation trustees of APRA funds should ensure they carefully consider the strategies they develop and implement to gain and retain fund members.
“They should be mindful of the financial services laws and ensure that any communications to new or existing members are not misleading or deceptive,” he said.
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