ASIC and APRA on ‘intra-fund’ super benefit transfers

THE Australian Securities and Investments Commission has issued a new class order to provide conditional relief from application form requirements and cooling-off rights for trustees of certain regulated superannuation funds. An intra-fund transfer is a transfer of fund members and their benefits between superannuation products within a regulated superannuation fund. The application form and cooling-off relief will permit members to be transferred between products within a fund without the members’ consent, as part of the rationalisation of fund products. The relief only applies where adequate disclosure is made to members prior to the intra-fund transfer. Under the class order, the members to be transferred must be given a significant event notice under s1017B of the Corporations Act 2001, and a product disclosure statement for the new product they will acquire, at least 30 days before the intra-fund transfer occurs. The relief incorporates the ‘equivalent rights’ test. This test already applies under the SIS regulations in relation to the transfer of members and their benefits between separate superannuation funds under a ‘successor fund’ mechanism implemented without the consent of the members. This requirement is subject to APRA oversight.

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