A cornerstone of superannuation law is the term “Sole Purpose Test”.
As the name implies, expenditure (and payments) by superannuation funds must be in respect of enabling members to save for retirement.
Some larger funds see advertising as a necessary expenditure, but it is often questioned whether this is of any benefit to the retirement outcomes for existing members. Whatever the arguments however, the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority has written to the funds as part of a consultation process.
It would appear to be an attempt by the regulator to allow members and potential members to have access to more detail on the amount and purpose of marketing and sponsorship, industrial bodies, related parties, director remuneration and political donations.
This increased transparency would be most welcome, but it remains to be seen whether funds will agree to this scrutiny.