This section summarises the current Hostplus Conflicts Management Policy (Policy). A new summary will be disclosed, if any further amendments are made to the Policy, within such time as required by Law.
The Policy sets out the processes and procedures that Host-Plus Pty Limited (Hostplus) as Trustee of the Hostplus Superannuation Fund (the Fund) has adopted to identify, assess and manage Conflicts of Interest that may arise during the provision of superannuation services to Fund members.
The Policy has been designed to comply with the APRA Standard SPS 521 "Conflicts of Interest" and the requirements under sections 52 and 52A of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth) (SIS Act).
The Policy applies to all Hostplus Registerable Superannuation Entity (RSE) Licensee Responsible Persons and Specified Employees.
Maintenance of conflicts management framework
Hostplus has a conflicts management framework to ensure that practical arrangements (i.e. measure, processes and procedures) must be implemented and maintained. It is designed to reflect the nature, scale and complexity of Hostplus’ operations.
Role of Board and Directors’ duties
Hostplus’ Board of Directors (Board) is ultimately responsible for the development and maintenance of its Conflicts Management Framework, including this Policy. It must also take all reasonable steps to ensure that Hostplus staff clearly understands:
- the need to identify all actual and potential Conflicts of Interest,
- the circumstances that might give rise to a Conflict of Interest;
- the content and purpose of Hostplus’ Conflicts Management Framework, including this Policy; and
- their obligations under the Policy.
Under the Policy:
- both Hostplus, itself, and certain members of Hostplus’ staff (including but not limited to the Board, Senior Management, and other staff that Hostplus determines should be included);
- certain service providers; and
- certain associates of Hostplus,
must disclose certain interests they personally hold and duties they owe to third parties as and when they arise. These interests and duties, if deemed relevant, must be registered on the consolidated Register of Relevant Interests and Duties, which can be accessed here:
Relevant Interests and Duties Register
The Board periodically reviews the Register to determine whether any Conflicts of Interest may arise that could affect the Fund and its members. If a Conflict of Interest is identified, Hostplus must determine whether to manage or avoid the Conflict of Interest. In certain cases, Conflicts of Interest cannot be avoided, and these will be managed, in accordance with the requirements of the Law, including but not limited to the SIS Act and Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
A Relevant Interest is any interest, gift, emolument or benefit (for example earnings, dividends, payments, capital gains, rights or profits) whether pecuniary or non-pecuniary, directly or indirectly obtained or offered that Hostplus considers to be relevant because it has the potential to have a significant impact on Hostplus’ capacity to act in a manner that is consistent with its Trustee duties.
A relevant duty is a duty that a person may owe to a third party (for example, as a director or employee of that third party) that Hostplus considers to be relevant because it has the potential to have a significant impact on Hostplus’ capacity to act in a manner that is consistent with its Trustee duties.
Conflict of Interest
Put simply, a Conflict of Interest arises if a person’s Relevant Interest or Relevant Duty is likely to affect his or her ability to make an impartial decision or judgement that he or she is required to make for the benefit of the Fund’s members.
Identification, disclosure and recording of Relevant Interests and Relevant Duties and subsequent Conflicts of Interest
Relevant Interests and Relevant Duties will remain disclosed on the Registers until the relevant person no longer holds that interest or owes the duty, or no longer is employed by, provides services to, or is associated with Hostplus.
Each person must ensure that their Relevant Interests and Relevant Duties are disclosed on the Register on a periodic basis or when a change to their interests or duties arises during their tenure.
Over time certain Relevant Interests or Relevant Duties may or may not be considered to create Conflicts of Interest, and this will depend upon the relevant circumstances at the time. Hostplus may maintain a Conflicts of Interest register, in order to aid it in managing and avoiding Conflicts of Interest, but is under no obligation to disclose this to members.
Management and monitoring of conflicts of interest
The Law requires Hostplus and the Board to manage Conflicts of Interest. The aim of the Hostplus Board is to avoid Conflicts of Interest. However, there might be circumstances where the avoidance of Conflicts of Interest will not always be possible or prudentially practical. The Board will identify, analyse and evaluate all such conflicts and then determine whether to avoid a particular Conflict of Interest or accept and act notwithstanding the Conflict of Interest, subject to any management controls. Any Conflict of Interest that cannot be avoided must be managed, as is reasonable in the circumstances, but always so that priority is given firstly to the interests of members and beneficiaries.