Did advisers use super choice to protect trails?

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has confirmed that it has investigated allegations that members of superannuation funds may have been misled about transitioning to MySuper products to protect adviser trailing commissions.

Answering questions on notice from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, ASIC confirmed it had received allegations that superannuation fund members holding funds in default investment options had been misled into making an investment choice so that they would opt out of transitioning into MySuper.

“It is alleged that these communications failed to disclose that by making this investment choice the member would continue to pay trailing commissions to an adviser, as well as higher fees and insurance premiums relative to the MySuper option,” the ASIC answer said.

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The regulator told the committee it was in the process of asking 18 superannuation fund trustees questions under notice relevant to the issue.

“We have asked questions including how many members moved to choice products, rather than into new MySuper options, as well as what disclosure and advice members received about the transition,” the ASIC answer said.

“We have asked for copies of disclosure documents such as accrued default amount notices as well,” it said.

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