Superannuation funds across the board lodged a record number of eleventh-hour revisions with the prudential regulator as their respective fates were in the process of being determined by the inaugural performance test, APRA’s latest data disclosures reveal.

There were close to 61,000 revisions to data previously submitted by funds as the performance test deadline drew nearer, a number that is substantially higher than revisions to data during any other period, APRA’s data disclosures revealed.

This quarterly APRA MySuper statistics report issued on August 31 with the extraordinary number of revisions was the very same data used to determine that fate to the 80 funds which offer MySuper products under the new performance test rules an APRA spokesperson confirmed.

A spokesperson for APRA acknowledged the unprecedented number of submissions but could not confirm whether any product that was set to fail ended up passing due to a late submission.

Last minute adjustments

Every one of those funds with MySuper products lodged multiple revisions to data they had previously submitted as the final assessment for a ‘first strike’ for failure to meet the performance benchmark loomed, the ‘revisions’ tab in the APRA data shows.

Late revisions to data lodged with APRA during this period included adjustments to administration costs and fees, adjustments to benchmark allocations of various asset classes, adjustments to levels of reported risk exposure among other variables that would change the performance outcome of the respective funds.

While some funds owned their performance test fate leading up to the public announcement on Tuesday August 31, other funds revealed to Investment Magazine they were uncertain which side of the performance test benchmark they would land until they were contacted on that day.

Fewer funds failed the performance test than previously thought might based on APRA’s December 2020 data, including Mine Super, Rest, Perpetual superannuation products, among others.

Since December last year a number of changes were made to the methodology including the removal of administration fees from previous years as well as adjustments to the benchmarking of infrastructure and property before the performance test reached its final form.

In cases where resubmitted data had a material impact on performance under the performance test APRA conducted analysis to confirm validity of data, an APRA spokesperson said.

Overall, data is not verified by APRA with the legal onus landing with funds to ensure data is accurate, this spokesperson noted.

APRA will only make inquiries if it has concerns that resubmitted data may not be accurate, or if the number of resubmissions is unusually high, the APRA spokesperson said.

While trustees can resubmit data any time they want a spokesperson noted that frequent resubmissions would obviously be a red flag about how competent they are in running their business and might prompt more intense supervision.

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