APRA proposes major boost to pensions data transparency
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has launched a consultation on plans to “sharply expand the breadth and granularity of the superannuation data it publishes” – ‘superannuation’ being Australian lingo for compulsory employee pensions.
This marks the second phase of its Superannuation Data Transformation project, following on from Phase 1 which addressed data gaps and developed 10 new reporting standards. The current discussion paper now outlines proposals to publish the enhanced data these will generate, with most being considered non-confidential.
“Starting in June this year, APRA proposes publishing new aggregate industry, fund-level and product-level statistics containing key metrics, including improved data on insurance arrangements, expenses, member demographics and asset allocation classification,” says the regulator. This will be the first time APRA has published data on all products and investment options. “Where relevant, new approaches will be used to better enable comparisons across complex fee and cost structures or insurance design.”
The aim is to use heightened transparency to lift industry performance and improve member outcomes, both by facilitating APRA’s own scrutiny and by helping stakeholders make better informed decisions. In addition to expanding its own publications, APRA plans to release two datasets – one with key metrics and one with granular data – to allow users to consume the data using their own tools.
There is a lot going on at APRA at the moment, and not just in pensions. This initiative is part of a broader push to modernise data collection and to improve quality, granularity, and transparency as the culture around data changes. For example, APRA also announced last year the publication of entity-level banking data aligned with Pillar 3 requirements.