Update to disclosure guidance for shorter PDSs

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has updated its guidance in Information Sheet 155 about complying with the Shorter Product Disclosure Statement (Shorter PDS) regime. The updated guidance reflects findings from ASIC’s recent review of a sample of Shorter PDSs.


In June 2012, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) first published Shorter PDSs: Complying with requirements for superannuation products and simple managed investment schemes (INFO 155) to provide concise guidance for industry on technical issues related to implementation of the Shorter PDS regime.
Following a review of sample Shorter PDSs for superannuation and simple managed investment schemes, ASIC has identified areas where industry could benefit from further guidance when preparing Shorter PDSs. It has updated Information Sheet 155 to reflect these findings.

Updated guidance

The updated Information Sheet includes the following additional guidance:
  • Clarification that a Shorter PDS cannot be updated by the use of a supplementary PDS.
  • Clarification of the font size to be used in a Shorter PDS (it must be at least 9 points, except for certain specified words and numbers that must be at least 8 points).
  • Suggestions on how to ensure that prescribed warnings are prominent and are formatted to attract consumers’ attention (for example, increasing the font size of warnings, inserting a warning symbol next to them, changing their colour or inserting a box around them).
  • ASIC’s view on disclosing whether and how investment options in a product may change.  ASIC interprets this disclosure as requiring a Shorter PDS to state whether the trustee or responsible entity can add, close or alter investment options and, if so, what notice will be given to members or investors. (In our view, this disclosure can be made in the Shorter PDS itself or incorporated by reference.)
  • Reinforcement of ASIC’s view that the Standard Risk Measure (SRM) should be disclosed in the Shorter PDS itself, rather than incorporated by reference (although other components of the SRM, such as an explanation of what it is, its limitations and its methodology, could be incorporated by reference).
  • Clarification that where an employer-sponsored member of a superannuation fund is transferred to another division of the fund upon leaving employment, any potential increase in fees or insurance premiums and any reduction in benefits is either a significant feature or a risk, and therefore must be disclosed in a Shorter PDS.
  • Clarification that where a superannuation fund has an accumulation division and a pension division and the same Shorter PDS is used for both, the PDS must give similar prominence to both the accumulation and the pension features.
  • Acknowledgement that some MySuper products will require their own Shorter PDS (where they are a ‘stand-alone’ product).
Updated Information Sheet 155 also reflects that the interim class order relief which exempts superannuation platforms, multi-funds and hedge funds from the shorter PDS regime (ASIC Class Order 12/749) has been extended until 22 June 2014.
In a media release accompanying the updated guidance, ASIC also made the following points:
  • A Shorter PDS must explain the ‘cooling-off’ period.  This includes a Shorter PDS for a public offer superannuation fund, unless the PDS is intended only for employer-sponsored members.
  • ASIC may consider it misleading where a Shorter PDS for a product with both benefits and costs only refers to the product’s benefits.


Emma Woolley

Partner & Head of Family Office Advisory

Karl Rozenbergs

Partner & Co-Lead, Health & Community

Ben Hamilton

Partner & Technology and Digital Economy Co-Lead

James Deady

Partner & Technology and Digital Economy Co-Lead

Eugene Chen

Partner & Head of China Practice

Oliver Jankowsky

Partner & Head of International Practice

John Bassilios

Partner & Fintech and Blockchain Lead

Matthew Curll

Partner & Insurance National Practice Leader

Melanie Smith

Director – Business Development, Marketing and Communications

Natalie Bannister

Partner & Commercial National Practice Leader

Nathan Kennedy

Partner, Head of Pro Bono & Community and ESG Co-Lead

William Moore

Partner & Head of Private Clients Advisory

Mark Dessi

Partner & Energy Leader

James Bull

Special Counsel & Frank Lab Co-Lead

Melanie James

People & Culture Manager

Jacqui Barrett

Partner & Head of US Desk

Lauren Parrant

Senior People & Culture Advisor

Melinda Woledge

Marketing & Communications Manager

Jasmine Koh

Senior Associate & Frank Lab Co-Lead

Alison Choy Flannigan

Partner & Co-Lead, Health & Community

Jordon Lee


Geoff Benson


Meg Lee

Partner & ESG Co-Lead

John Gray

Partner, Technology & Digital Economy Co-Lead and NSW Government Co-Lead

Harvey Duckett


Luke Denham


Billie Kerkez

Manager – Smarter Recovery Solutions

Jemima Whiteman


Bradley White


Sarah Khan


Audrey Leahy

Special Counsel & Head of Irish Desk

Nicole Tumiati

Partner & Retail & Consumer Goods Leader

Marie Mitilineos


Gloria Tam


Peter Jones

Senior Commercial Counsel

Eden Winokur

Partner & Head of Cyber

Jennifer Degotardi

Partner & NSW Government Co-Lead

Sheldon Fu


Claire Bourke


Chloe Taylor


Silvana Brcina


Daphne Schilizzi


Andrew Banks


Isabella Urso


Jessica Liu


Amelia Spratt


Lisa Ziegert

Director – Client Solutions

Luke Raams


Emma McDonald


Carl Ayers


Maddison Reznik

Senior Associate & Trade Marks Attorney

Rebecca Dodd


Ruby Hunt

Pro Bono & Community Co-ordinator

Rachel Bonic


Samantha Frost


Emma Bechaz


Matt Dolan


Luke Hefferan


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