21 super fund websites fail transparency requirements, ASIC intervenes

ASIC has intervened to improve information on super fund websites, after finding that 21 such sites were failing to meet transparency requirements.

Large super funds are required by law to disclose ‘Transparency Information’ (TI) on their websites. This TI includes trustee directors’ remuneration, fund trust deeds and Product Disclosure Statements (PDSs).

ASIC identified that 21 super fund websites were failing these TI requirements. Two of the super funds had assets of more than $10 billion, while the other 19 funds were smaller.

ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said the economic significance of superannuation meant that the superannuation industry should be transparent with information.

“ASIC’s expectation is that super fund websites should be easily found by searching on the fund’s name using an Internet search engine and that the website homepage should prominently point to the Transparency Information”, Mr Kell said.

10 of the funds had no website, 4 had no TI on their sites, 5 had no remuneration information and 2 disclosed remuneration in bands as opposed to for each individual executive office.

ASIC does not name the super funds.

The regulator has written to the trustees of the 21 super funds asking them to address the transparency failures.

“As a result, seven trustees disclosed the required information, five made it easier to find the information and trustees of two small funds, who did not have websites, sought relief from TI obligations. Seven trustees transferred fund members to another fund before winding up the fund. Two trustees also improved their procedures for ensuring that TI is up to date,” said ASIC.

“ASIC has received applications for relief from TI obligations from two trustees that were in breach of the requirement to have a website, but no relief has been granted at this stage. ASIC cannot give relief for breaches that have already taken place and will consider what further action may be necessary here.”

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