The superannuation industry in Australia is characterised by continuous change. Over the years funds have adapted to accommodate (then abolish) Reasonable Benefit Limits (RBL), Contribution Surcharge and Simpler Super within Australia, as well as to accommodate international issues such as Sarbanes Oxley and Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and we wait with baited breath for the potential impact from the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) going forward.
In terms of technology, efforts to “simplify” the industry and abolish certain regulations require as many resources as it took to implement them in the first place. And so despite supposed “simplification”, the current magnitude of change is no different to periods in the past.
Of course, in terms of technology, the costs and impacts associated with these regulatory changes will vary from provider to provider, and the impact is lessened with the right technology system. Flexible technology is a must to get compliant products to market quickly, and shared development across a wide client base will ensure the changes are implemented cost effectively and smoothly.
Standard Business Reporting (SBR) requirements may be harder to implement for providers with a number of internal systems supporting their propositions, with increased cost, time and risks. Certainly, running a single system will help reduce this burden.
Overall, the current stream of changes represents a level of co-operation across the industry that was previously unheard of, and with the right technology (technology that can adapt quickly, cost effectively and across the board) they will be positive for super funds and the industry as a whole.
What is the technological impact of these changes for your organisation?