Suncorp Life taps DST HiPortfolio to support new Australian tax regs

Source: DST Global Solutions

DST Global Solutions today confirmed that Suncorp Life, a division of Suncorp Metway, is now able to support Australia's new legislation for the Taxation of Financial Arrangements (TOFA).

Suncorp Life's long-term administration platform, HiPortfolio, is now TOFA-ready and benefiting from its recent multi-million dollar enhancement project completed in conjunction with the DST Global Solutions Advanced User Group (AUG) financial services community. The project not only helped HiPortfolio users with their obligation to meet TOFA legislation requirements, it also produced a range of additional benefits for participants.

Suncorp Life is an original member of the AUG, the Group charged with enabling Australia's leading investment administration platform to administer TOFA-eligible entities.

Suncorp Life's TOFA-readiness is a great example of the commitment of Australian financial services organisations to remain competitive, whilst still focusing on compliance for significant taxation legislation changes, according to Tom Abraham, DST Global Solutions' CEO.

"We are pleased to outline such a smooth implementation for Suncorp Life to its TOFA-ready status. As an active member of our AUG for a range of development projects over the years, Suncorp Life has remained committed to this complex TOFA undertaking and joined our recently announced Third Party Administrators in meeting industry and legislative requirements," he said.

The TOFA legislation became mandatory effective 1 July 2010 and is a comprehensive approach to the taxation of all financial arrangements. Rules now exist to cover tax timing treatments, especially in the area of hedging. Via a mix of elected and default methods of taxation treatment, the legislation is designed to reduce tax distortions and enhance financial risk management.

"Suncorp Life has used the tried and tested HiPortfolio software for its back office operations for a number of years, so it was a natural fit to use its TOFA module to handle the compliance obligations that we had as a result of TOFA," said John O'Farrell, Suncorp Life's CFO.

The benefits of adopting the HiPortfolio TOFA solution were immediately obvious at Suncorp Life, even during the implementation phase.

"As a testament to the successful implementation of this project, we experienced no interruption to business operations in the implementation week and have not experienced any major TOFA related issues since our go live date," said Mr. O'Farrell.

"However, it is the support that DST Global Solutions offers if we ever do have an issue that was the real selling point for us. There are DST Global Solutions staff and online forums available to discuss complex issues that may have arisen as a result of new taxation legislation, which is an added benefit for us. I am extremely confident that any major changes to taxation legislation will be covered in a timely manner, due to the support DST Global Solutions provides to its clients," Mr O'Farrell continued.

The HiPortfolio TOFA-ready solution was developed at DST Global Solutions' Investment Management Solutions Research and Development Centre in Melbourne, Australia.

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