SMSFs would have advantage under ‘open super’

The SMSF sector is likely to thrive in an open super regime.

SMSFs stand to benefit from the open banking regime’s likely evolution into open super as the sector’s current systems and ongoing integrations for member data are already at a good level.

QMV legal and risk principal consultant Jonathan Steffanoni said because the open banking regime is economy-wide, there is a high likelihood an open super regime will follow, under which SMSFs would be potentially at an advantage.

“It’s probably not going to be a lot of difference. A lot of the applications are retirement planning focused so they’re going to be similar for a self-managed fund,” Steffanoni told selfmanagedsuper during a media briefing in Sydney today.

“But it will depend on the technology that’s developed – if we see technology that enables open super to be administrated, that’s the easy part, but then does it offer good ways of how that data is used?

“When we move to a point where we’re close to announcing that open super may be happening, and even open pensions, we’ll have to look at what this means in terms of technical implementation.”

He also believes an open super regime will create numerous consumer data-related opportunities, which in turn will create innovation in the super sector.

“If we look at how people retire, it’s usually not as an individual but as a family unit,” he said.

“However, the superannuation system and its retirement planning is often focused on the individual so an obvious application, for example, is to develop an app that enables you a wider point of view of the family unit and integrate your retirement planning.

“As soon as you open that information, you create an ecosystem where you get innovation.

“I’m sure there will be plenty of other applications of [open super] as well.”

The open banking regime is set to commence on 1 July 2019. Under the regime, banks and other financial bodies must provide credit and debit card, deposit and transaction account data when requested by customers in a bid to increase transparency and competition.

The exposure draft legislation is due in two to three weeks.

“Banks are the first industry designated, to be followed by telecoms and utilities, so it makes sense that at some point superannuation will come under the agenda as well,” Steffanoni said.

“And there might be a window of competitive advantage for super funds initially in terms of drawing in banking data to augment the information that they already have.”

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