Shorten slammed for killing off default super competition

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Bill Shorten has successfully put a stop to Productivity Commission moves towards genuine competition in the superannuation default fund market under this government.

This is Shadow Minister for Superannuation Mathias Cormann’s assessment following Shorten’s release of the final Productivity Commission report into default superannuation under modern awards today.

“Bill Shorten's bullying of the Commission at the behest of his friends in the union movement has been successful,” said Cormann, who added that the 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”.

“It is an anti-competitive, closed shop arrangement, which lacks transparency, is littered with inherent conflicts and inappropriately favours union dominated industry super funds,” said Cormann.

“It took Bill Shorten forever to get around to asking the Productivity Commission to look at this important issue.

“Now that the final report is out, it is clear that as a result of Bill Shorten's unprecedented intervention two months ago, when he effectively responded to a Productivity Commission review before it had been finalised, he forced the Commission away from its previous recommendations to ensure genuine competition in the superannuation default fund market.

Claiming that genuine competition in the default fund market is critically important to ensure efficiencies and value for Australians in default super are maximised, Cormann has said that the Productivity Commission’s recommendations would now see the continuation of a process where conflicted parties within Fair Work Australia will continue to select default super funds under modern awards.

“The government is currently legislating all the consumer protection requirements it judges are important in a default fund product through its MySuper legislation,” said Cormann.

“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.

“There is no justification for the additional cost and complexity which comes with an additional layer of government intervention in that market which the Productivity Commission appears to have embraced now under pressure from Minister Shorten.

“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.

“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.”

Has Shorten gone too far? Place your comments below.

  • Dean on 16/10/2012 10:07:38 AM

    Very few Australians understand the level of union involvement in so called "industry funds". If they did, they would run a mile. Why aren't AMP/ANZ/CBA/NAB/Westpac getting together to fund an awareness campaign about union involvement? They are the only ones who can afford to do so, and they have the most to gain. Ordinary Australians don't read the AFR or Matthhais Cormann's press releases. They watch simplistic ads on commercial TV.

  • Andrew on 15/10/2012 4:02:11 PM

    The next time Bill Shorten appears as a speaker at any FP forum it is my intention to leave the room as soon as he starts talking and invite others to do the same to show that we are all sick of him and his misplaced ideologies.

  • Two Young Advisers on 15/10/2012 12:10:46 PM

    More of the same crap from Shorten and his labour/union partners in crime. The biggest conflict in the room is this mob. Looked up conflict in the the dictionary and it now says 'Labour Party. Mathias Cormann has his head in the right space and we need him on the job a.s.a.p. to right the ship. Can't wait to to vote - when's the election :)

  • Greendog on 15/10/2012 12:07:23 PM

    Your'e unfortunately wasting your time with that one Forbesy. The FPA are doing what they have always done. Hiding. The FSC are conflicted and Choice have regularly demonstrated their lack of real understanding of the industries they opine on. The only real redemption will be at election time. Bring it on.

  • Paul Forbes on 15/10/2012 9:33:42 AM

    Once again Mathias Cormann is the lone voice on this issue - where is the outrage from the FSC,FPA and Choice? The FSC I get, because their members are conflicted by wanting to compete for Industry fund mandates but the others have been paying lip service to consumer protection while protecting their own vested interests.
    Did to FPA agree to not criticise Shorten as long as he pushed for mandatory membership of a professional body?
    Mathias need some support!!

  • Mark Smithson on 15/10/2012 9:08:21 AM

    There needs to be an independant investigation against corruption here. It is a pitty that the FPA has been weak and shown no strength as a Professional body in standing up for Financial Planning as a Profession.

  • John walker on 13/10/2012 6:50:48 PM

    My Understanding is that the unions have shares in industry funds and thus receive dividends ... Maybe this I'd the same .... The labour party wants money and power.... It does not stand for workers and hasn't for a long time ... It would have surprised me if he didn't make this kind of move ... When you think about industry funds were legislated funds for the union you belonged to.... No choice there for a long time and we put up with that ... Me and the financial services industry is pathetically weak letting these sorts of things happen!

  • Paul Wiltshire on 13/10/2012 1:48:38 PM

    I also have to LOL at this being breaking news. Doesn't everyone know he's a crook......

  • Paul Wiltshire on 13/10/2012 1:31:08 PM

    WE all knew this about good old Bill and his cronies, Gillard and Swan are no better at spin. Enough of the corruption and lies in Australia....

  • Glenn B on 13/10/2012 12:18:55 AM

    Good pick Marko! Seems you were here for the wrong reasons.

  • Voter on 12/10/2012 7:43:10 PM

    Bill, Part of the FOFA legislation seeks to provide clear,transparent and unbiased financial/lifestyle planning to the voting public.
    As a voter I was was under the same impression this goverment adhered to the same rules.
    I can see a hike in unemployement rate post May 2013

  • John on 12/10/2012 6:38:06 PM

    He belongs in the union as he's certainly not fit to govern - its funny that Trustees have to be fit and and proper but little Bill and his mates don't obviously have to!!!

  • Courbert on 12/10/2012 5:51:09 PM

    Well, Bill succeeded in finally breaking Labour's hold on power at the next elections, a donkey can now seriously look at what future they have when it comes to retirement which in turn will voice their anger at the next election! As for future PM Shorten is surely the Dunce in this equation!

  • Lyn on 12/10/2012 5:35:12 PM

    Mates rates for Bill. Conflict of Interest how dare he bully our industry to changes he cannot even adhere to himself

  • Sergio Arcaini on 12/10/2012 5:16:08 PM

    This Gov will not stop at anything to protect the pork barelling of their union mates. We should not be surprised.

  • Alex Warren on 12/10/2012 5:13:32 PM

    I am really hoping that Shorten gets what he deserves at the next election. I have fully supported much of fofa and much of it could have gone further. As an advisor we must act in best interest yet when it comes to support ing his mates clients best interest is forgotten.

  • 2 long n da tooth on 12/10/2012 5:01:44 PM

    Bill is simply looking after his future when he loses his seat at the next election by looking after others now...

  • Herbert H Heebert on 12/10/2012 5:00:09 PM

    Just picture the last days of a goverment in a complete and embarrassing decline, clinging to every last piece it can and on it's way implementing policies to spite all that don't support.
    Contrary to the left media, both sides are not to blame, fish smell from the head.....please bring on an election - the nonsense has gone on for too long.
    Finally the only beneficiary to Shortens policies will be his resume - bugger the public they don't know whats good for them, Bill does - Bill was never and should never be in charge of this immensly responsible position/portfolio.

  • Bruno Festa on 12/10/2012 4:59:23 PM

    Treasurer Swann is coming after the big golden pot, your super!

  • Marko on 12/10/2012 4:58:54 PM

    They should put more funding into spelling and putting a sentence together, what do you think M Perera?

  • Jeff Mazzini- AAMC Training Group on 12/10/2012 4:45:45 PM

    "May god save Australia"

  • M Perera on 12/10/2012 4:43:39 PM

    This industry is dying.its sad so many people will loose good advice. thanks to Shoterns advice.

  • M Perera on 12/10/2012 4:40:28 PM

    I am sick and tired listen to this guys crap. he have no idea what financial planners go though changes after changes. will raise my voice during me next vote. thnx

  • Malcolm on 12/10/2012 4:39:01 PM

    I agree with Andrew that Shorten has now lost all the creditability he was clinging to. His ambitions to lead the country also are done and dusted and he might as well also play for the Western Bulldogs.

  • carl on 12/10/2012 4:37:34 PM

    Bill requires planners to make files and file notes while his boss, the PM can be excused for being 'young and naive' at 32+ and a Partner in the firm.

  • Andrew on 12/10/2012 4:30:40 PM

    Bill this is what we have come to expect from you. May your career be shortened...

  • Matthew on 12/10/2012 4:29:14 PM

    Bill Short-sighted needs to stop letting the power of the few ie Unions persuade him in his role to an end that is not in the best interest of the australian public or the finance industry which he is employed to serve. MySuper was a great concept but has been corrupted into another cashcow for the government to mismanage.

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