Super funds’ brief shot at independence

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The House of Representatives voted yesterday in support of a Cooper Review recommendation – that at least a third of super fund trustees have to be independent.

Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation Mathias Cormann celebrated the 72/68 victory, saying that “the so-called equal representation model, with just union and employer representatives on certain boards was no longer appropriate in the 21st Century".  

“We welcome the fact that four Labor MPs, including two Ministers and a Government Whip, appear to have boycotted Labor’s instruction to vote against our sensible amendments,” he said in a statement following the vote.

Four hours later, Cormann announced that the appointment of independent directors had been overturned, as the Independents showed their support for Labor. He said the news was disappointing, and that it would “entrench union dominance of industry super funds”.

Cormann has said that he will pursue the change: “Superannuation Funds should have an appropriate diversity of skills, experiences and backgrounds represented on their boards, with at least one third of independent directors.”

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  • jason on 17/05/2013 10:42:24 AM

    Our Industry is a politicial football there is the Isn ( Labor ) and The Rest ( LNP ) . They turn us against each other. This in turn affects Clients Perceptions, Our Perceptions , Media's Perceptions, I guess we are casualties of a War

  • Pat on 16/05/2013 1:25:13 PM

    Oh, and starting a sentence with the word "Fact" does not make it so - childish argument method.

  • Pat on 16/05/2013 1:24:30 PM

    Leadership free zone - we (my firm) don't like industry funds because they provide poor service, administration and insurance. In addition, their fees are comparable with the fees that a much more appropriate fund we can structure charges. Don't paint me with your brush.

  • Leadership Free Zone on 16/05/2013 12:58:53 PM

    Fact: Financial planners in general don't like industry funds because they made the public aware of our failings (that we have proven ourselves incapable of self-remedying]and because they don't fawn all over us like the for the profit sector does. In essence we didn't like being held accountable. All the other stuff we rant on about against industry funds is just scapegoating.

  • James Smith on 16/05/2013 12:37:34 PM

    Industry funds should be held accountable and there should be a level playing field re performance reporting ( unit pricing would be a helpful start ) and advertising. This is not a political argument it is a neccessity for any industry.

  • Leadership Free Zone on 16/05/2013 11:17:11 AM

    Can anyone fairly say that the Industry Funds, on the whole, have not done a good job and managing the retirement savings of their members relative to public offer? Forget the (your) politics and look at the facts.

  • Michael on 16/05/2013 10:51:17 AM

    A great chance to add to the benefit by stipulating who would be acceptable and they just kill it instead.
    Would have been a vote winner for the independents to add that the 1/3 be actually independent and not former insto/union/govt conflicted lackeys.
    Trustees of super funds should be 100% about the members of the funds and nothing else.

  • Gareth Hall on 16/05/2013 10:01:09 AM

    How do these Labor and Independant Senators justify their actions to themselves? We can only hope the election is a landslide and that morality can return to Government.

  • Simon Makeham on 16/05/2013 9:46:57 AM

    I agree with Senator Cormann. Keep on it Mathias it's only a matter of time.

  • OTF on 16/05/2013 9:39:07 AM

    Labor and the Independents appear to be morally and blatantly corrupt. How else can they justify blocking this?

  • Cameron on 16/05/2013 9:33:16 AM

    Keep it going Senator Cormann. These stupid independents will not be around after 14 September to block sensible changes.

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