APRA expecting some products to fail in second MySuper performance test
A total of 13 super funds failed the inaugural performance test in 2021.
APRA member Margaret Cole said the prudential regulator is finalising work on the second MySuper performance test.
Following the inaugural performance test last August, it was revealed that 13 funds had failed, with Ms Cole saying that the upcoming results "raise the prospect of funds that fail for the second time having to close to new members" while addressing a Financial Services Council policy briefing on Wednesday (3 August).
"We have engaged closely over the past year with the trustees of those three remaining products to ensure they are prepared to comply with that requirement should it be necessary," Ms Cole said.
"Trustees are also required to meet their obligation to inform members of their test failure. We will be closely monitoring those products required to close to new members through a targeted data collection to ensure trustees are meeting these requirements of the law.
"Inevitably, there will also be products that fail the test for first time. In those cases, trustees will also need to comply with the law and notify their members of the result."
Ms Cole also reported at the briefing that of the 13 funds — which include AMG Super, ASGARD Independence Plan Division Two, Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund, AvSuper, BOC Gases Superannuation Fund, Christian Super, Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust, Commonwealth Bank Group Super, Energy Industries Superannuation Scheme-Pool A, Labour Union Co-Operative Retirement Fund, Maritime Super, Retirement Wrap, and The Victorian Independent Schools Superannuation Fund — 10 have either merged or exited the industry.
APRA will also again publish the Choice Heatmap, this time using data gathered via APRA Connect.
"As with the performance test, the transparency the heatmaps provide continues to act as a catalyst for trustees acting to address underperformance and improving outcomes for members as a result," Ms Cole said.
"In response to last year’s inaugural Choice Heatmap, trustees have indicated to APRA that approximately half of the worst performing choice options have now closed or will shortly be closed, and that action is being taken to improve the performance of the remaining underperforming options. This is very good news for members."
In September last year, APRA was forced to defend its decision to not provide feedback to the 13 funds that failed the performance test during a House of Representatives standing committee.
APRA’s executive director for the superannuation division, Suzanne Smith, said at the time that the information used to calculate the performance test was available to those subject to it.
“The information won’t be a surprise to them,” Ms Smith said.
“Most of them had worked through a lot of that information to get a good sense of where they were going to land.
“Whilst they haven’t got the final number, they would have a good understanding of the basis and the reasons for the outcome they received."
Meanwhile in June, ASIC revealed that some of the 13 funds obscured the test results following a review into the performance test communications.
“The review found that trustees whose products failed generally complied with the legal obligations to notify their members of the failed test and to disclose the failed test on their website,” the corporate regulator said in a statement.
“However, the communication strategies of some trustees may have risked confusing or misleading members about their product’s performance.”