Today, the Minister for Financial Services, Bill Shorten, provided clarity to providers of superannuation platforms and multifunds in respect of Shorter Product Disclosure Statement (SPDS) regime.
The SPDS regime is set to take full force on 22 June 2012, and will ensure that disclosure for certain financial products – including superannuation and simple
managed investment schemes – is presented in a short and simple way that equips consumers to make better financial decisions.
“While the SPDS regime will help Australian investors understand the key costs, risks and features of superannuation and managed investment scheme products, the Government is aware that the financial services industry is dealing with a number of implementation issues in moving to the new SPDS regulations for superannuation platforms and multifunds,” Minister Shorten said
In order to address the need to transition to the new regulations, the Government will be undertaking further consultation with industry and consumer groups to determine whether these products should be completely out of the shorter PDS regime or in the regime but with modified content requirements. On an interim basis:
- Superannuation platforms will be excluded from the SPDS regime, however relief will be provided by ASIC so that superannuation platforms can, on the discretion of the provider, be included in the SPDS regime; and
- Multifunds will also be excluded from the SPDS regime, however relief will also be provided so that multifunds can at the discretion of the provider, be included in the SPDS regime.
Finally, the Government reiterates that other complex products such as hedge funds will continue to remain excluded from the SPDS regime, in accordance with the original policy intent, until these products can be fully considered in respect of the policy intent of the SPDS regime.
“We need to keep in mind that while the shorter disclosure documents work well for relatively simple financial products, complex products often have features and risks that can’t be addressed in a short and simple manner,” Mr Shorten said.
These continuing changes to disclosure build on the Government’s commitments to deregulation and consumer protection, and complement the Future of Financial Advice and Stronger Super reforms.
Media Contact: Adele Holman – 0413 513 306