Australia plans to overhaul the financial reporting requirements of the country's A$3.3 trillion ($2.2 trillion) pensions industry to give savers a clearer picture of their investments.
The government is tabling new legislation for the so-called superannuation sector that will require funds to disclose their performance in the same way as listed companies. It will include filing annual, publicly available financial reports with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
"Decades of scattergun regulation has resulted in a dog's breakfast of reporting requirements," Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones said in a statement Wednesday. "We are cleaning up the mess so meaningful, detailed information is made available to members, easily and consistently."
While pension funds already publish annual reports, they can be light on detail. The previous government last year forced them to start disclosing holdings on a six-monthly basis. However, the data can be challenging to decipher, and funds aren't required to report details of assets outsourced to external managers. In August, ASIC said there was considerable room for improvement.
The government on Wednesday didn't outline specific changes to disclosure of holdings but said the legislation would mean members could access clearer, more meaningful and consistent information. It proposed a new annual Super Transparency Report, which it said would be a single source of "granular, consistent information."
It also said it would reform existing rules to eliminate the duplication of information and improve clarity.