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Super battle over the retirement money of ordinary Australians

Sunday, February 21, 2016

There’s a pretty dispiriting battle going on at the moment between the big superannuation funds over who gets to control the billions of dollars of ordinary workers’ superannuation money.

The Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer, is trying to bring in superannuation fund disclosure laws that were actually urged by Labor’s own 2010 review into superannuation. Here’s the Treasury discussion paper on superannuation disclosure.

The Australian reports that the Industry funds (employer/union controlled) are whingeing that the Retail funds (banks etc, controlled) will be able to avoid full disclosure. If the Industry funds are correct, then there’s been some pretty intense behind-the-scenes lobbying by the banks to keep things secret!

We say 'a pox on both your houses!' It’s a shock to discover that none of the big super funds are required by law to disclose anything! The regulator, ASIC, only reports what the funds say. There’s no independent auditing by ASIC. This must create opportunity for secrecy, mismanagement and, yes, corruption. This cannot be tolerated any longer.

ALL the big super funds should be forced to disclose EVERYTHING they do with workers’ money. ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips discussed this in a recent article in Business Spectator.

And if you want to see the standard that should be met, have a look at what one of the world’s biggest super funds CalPERS (Californian Employees) discloses. We’ve taken screenshots from their website. It’s extraordinary what CalPERS discloses!

Australian superannuation funds should be forced to disclose everything.
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