Bill Shorten has successfully put a stop to genuine competition in the superannuation default fund market to protect the best interests of his friends in the union movement.
This is the assessment of Shadow Superannuation Minister Mathias Cormann, as he reacts to the introduction of the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2012 to Parliament, which includes significant changes to the way in which default super funds are selected.
“The current process for the selection of default funds under modern awards, initiated by this government and run by Fair Work Australia, is a national disgrace,” he said.
“It is an anti-competitive, closed shop arrangement, which lacks transparency, is littered with inherent conflicts and inappropriately favours union dominated industry super funds.”
He added that the government has now introduced legislation into Parliament which, instead of ensuring genuine competition, will impose an additional layer of government intervention in the default fund market.
“Bill Shorten has introduced legislation which, if passed by the Parliament, would see the continuation of a process where conflicted parties within Fair Work Australia will continue to select default super funds under modern awards,” he said.
“The government is currently also legislating all the consumer protection requirements it judges are important in a default fund product through its MySuper legislation.
Given that is happening now, there is absolutely no reason why every product which qualifies as a MySuper product should not be able to compete freely in the default fund market.”
Cormann added that there was no justification for the additional cost and complexity which comes with an additional layer of government intervention in that market.
“Bill Shorten has been so desperate to protect the vested interests of his friends in the union movement that he has lost sight of his responsibility as a Minister of the Crown to act in the public interest,” he said.
“Clearly this government will not do what needs to be done when it comes to ensuring that employers and employees in default super can benefit from genuine competition in that market.”