Are you ready to take a pay cut?

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During the discussion panel at the ASIC Forum this week, Australian Super chief executive Ian Silk called for higher standards in the superannuation industry, and suggested that some people in the industry were taking more than their cut.

While he said that conduct across the industry was “generally pretty good”, there were still people who “clip the ticket here, and clip the ticket there”.

“Remuneration is manifestly excessive as a general proposition throughout this industry and yet we’re all sucking on the teats of the public purse, in a sense,” said Silk.

ABC News reported from the conference that Caltex chairman and Westpac director Elizabeth Bryan also said the industry was charging “boom-time fees”.

"I come from Ian's position where I think we are an industry that lives off a legislative requirement for people to give us their money, so we do owe a duty of care, we owe a high duty of care," she said.

Association of Superannuation Funds Australia (ASFA) CEO Pauline Vamos attended the forum, and said that over the past year there had been a substantial review of fees and a lot of recalibration. “What Ian was saying is that when you had double returns everybody made money. Now you’re in a time – and a time which will continue – of a low investment return environment, so everybody’s expectations need to change.”

The key thing for planners to remember, says Vamos, is that the days of being able to pull out 350bps, 250bps, 150bps, have long gone. “Every single adviser/provider in the value chain must be able to articulate very clearly the value they are providing and how their compensation reflects that value. That is going to be the difference.”

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