Amid claims by some Government backbenchers and financial planners that industry funds channel money to trade unions, evidence to a Parliamentary Committee has confirmed that industry funds also channel money to employer groups.
The Australian Industry Group (Ai) has confirmed to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee that it was the recipient of nearly $400,000 last financial year as a result of its staff being involved in the activities of AustralianSuper.
Answering questions on notice from a recent hearing of the Committee, Ai made clear that while individual members of its staff were not remunerated by AustralianSuper, Ai itself was a financial beneficiary from the arrangement.
“Some Ai Group employees provide services to AustralianSuper through their membership of AustralianSuper’s board, its Committees and Advisory Boards,” Ai said.
“As is the case for remuneration for external roles in general, under Ai Group’s employment arrangements the remuneration relating to these services is paid to Ai Group in recognition of the fact that Ai Group staff are not available to work for Ai Group while they are providing services as part of their external roles,” it said.
“Similarly, some Ai Group employees serve on the Shareholder Advisory Board of IFM Investors. These are remunerated positions and, under Ai Group’s employment arrangements, the remuneration relating to these positions is paid to Ai Group itself.”
It said that in 2019/20, the total received in relation to the arrangements was $386,110.96.