Liberals' plan will divide and diminish the super system

19 October 2015

The Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Trustee Governance) Bill listed for debate in the House today is ideologically driven and unwarranted.

The Government plans to dismantle the equal employee and employer representation model of super boards, despite industry funds being among the most successful and high-performing funds year-on-year.

The poorly-designed proposal to force funds to appoint one-third independent directors and an independent chair flies in the face of evidence and best practice from around the world.

The Productivity Commission has said in a 2012 Report that:

“there is a lack of compelling evidence to suggest that any one model of board structure should be viewed as clearly preferable in all cases.”

APRA already has the power to set and enforce prudential standards for superannuation funds so that they meet the financial promises they make to beneficiaries. The Liberals are proposing a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

Average Australians will have to bear the costs of this ideological attack on not-for-profit super funds, with Industry Super Australia estimating the cost of director churn to be up to $168 million.

Labor is interested in policy proposals that grow superannuation and make the system better - not in proposals that divide one part of the superannuation system against another.

The new Assistant Treasurer should stop the ideological crusade mounted by the previous minister and accept the evidence that the representative superannuation model is working, and does not need to be changed.

Labor will call on the crossbenchers in the House and the Senate to reject these ideologically driven and unwarranted attacks on our superannuation sector.