Attention planners: you've got homework to do

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Heavily revised APRA Superannuation Data Reporting standards are being launched today, but the regulator has acknowledged that the launch of all data reporting forms on 1 July 2013 is not feasible.

The proposed final standards, forms and instructions being unveiled are as a result of “extensive industry consultation and acknowledgement that these reporting standards should better align to industry practice”, says superannuation operation specialists IQ Group.

IQ Group CEO Graham Sammells says there are still matters under advisement. " In particular, Superannuation Funds are eagerly awaiting the forms relating to superannuation fund product dashboards due to the potentially high level of complexity required to complete this element of reporting," he outlined.

He says that planners need to be aware of the new MySuper product dashboard and think cleverly about how to use the information. This may result in more homework for planners who want to be in a position to "interpret the dashboard and understand the meaning behind the information presented".

“In theory, making product comparison simpler should be a good change for Financial Planners. However, like anything new it will take time to truly understand the meaning behind the information in the dashboard. And we expect each fund to provide its own interpretation of what information goes into each part of the dashboard. Eg. how do you explain "net target return" (as listed on the dashboard) to a member, and re-interpret that to account the members individual circumstances and insurance arrangements."

On the plus side, he doesn’t believe that there will be any impact in terms of collecting any more data. He says APRA has listened to industry feedback about the need to better align with industry practice, and as a result has “produced a much more authentic set of standards”.

"The Australian Superannuation industry is looking for solutions that can efficiently draw and organise data from numerous and different sources, including third-parties such as custodians, insurers and third party administrators,” he says.

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