How AustralianSuper paid nearly $400,000 to an employer group

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. 

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“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. 

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Rorts, kick backs and jobs for the boys.
Unions grubby money processes have be exceptional at shifting from blue collar blokes to Mafia style pin stripe suits to plunder massive funds from Superannuation.
It’s the biggest money $$$$$ pot around and they dived right in, suits and all.
All Super Funds, All Associated admin companies, fund managers, call centres etc must be forced to public company style FULL DISCLOSER.
The Unions are rorting millions & millions & millions via complex related party scams.

jobs for the union bosses, yeah all good, nothing to see here.

Nice to be the biggest fund in Australia and break of 100s of thousands for your mates.

For all those with their money in an Industry Super Fund managed by Unions - good luck to you and sleep well.

Rest assured I do sleep well. I trust the trustees of industry super funds just a little bit more than retail financial institutions. If you think unions are a risk to your prosperity, what ever you do don't look into for-profit financial institutions. I should know I work for them, trust me, we aren't the good guys, we're not bad either, it's just that we are "for profit" first and everything else comes second.

So what motivates the average Industry Super Employee? I assumed salaries, bonuses and promotions all available at industry Super - ie profit to the staff. Who else is making money in this Industry?

Google Lucio Di Bartolomeo. Former AI rep on Australian Super & director of that notoriously left wing rag "The New Daily". This is why there is so little opposition to Industry Funds. Everyone has their nose in the trough, keeping everyone silent about this 900 billion dollar racket.

There's plenty of competition against Industry Funds, all the major banks have for-profit super offerings accumulation and income stream phases. The issue is that these offerings almost always perform worse than industry funds. So it's hardly a surprise that many people prefer IS funds over retail offerings. But hey, you go ahead and take your ideology and you give your money to the private sector and pay more for lest returns. You'll be totally "owning" those socialist by throwing away your own money.

Well the Union Super Fund TV ads would say that, wouldn't they. However my fund achieved 34% last year, about double the typical industry fund. So it appears there is a problem with the comparison analysis.

EddieB, you really need to know you facts a little before making statements about performance of a very simple Industry Super option verse the many possible investment options available elsewhere.
Sounds like you what far to much TV - and believe the ads.

Hahahaha, our MDA service for clients return for not only 12mths (you know the dodgy way IFM reports returns by picking 'timeframes') but all other time periods for years now has consistently decimated industry funds, while being a lower in costs overall! That is hilarious how naïve your statements are.

If you truly do 'work for a retail group' and don't believe in what you're doing, essentially you my friend are a whore. Get the guts to leave and join your comrades in an industry fund, apparently there are millions to share around in employment arrangements :) :)

Otherwise, please get educated.

Another con for the award /industry funds scheme against fully transparent retail/private funds.

Now this is been confirmed we all look forward to ASIC conducting a thorough investigation, including a look back on all financial agreements between the union funds, unions and the ALP. I'm sure they will make this a priority.

Hi guys, just to clarify this article is about employers and not their opposites, unions. Though the same story applies to them. It's also about fees paid to trustee directors and this info isn't hidden - it is fully disclosed on fund's websites and in their annual report. You just have to look at it if you want to know the details. Industry funds generally have trustees representing both employers and employees, as well as independents, to look out for the interests of fund members. Whilst director fees were small in the past the increasing responsibility and time needed to run super funds these days means that remuneration for that work has, and will continue, to increase. Would you take the personal risk of criminal and civil penalties from being a director on a billion dollar board for no remuneration? Fees paid to these directors are still small compared to public companies of the same size, even though the effort and risk is much the same. With the move to having more independent directors, whilst being a good one in my eyes, you will see remuneration rise to be more competitive with that of public company directors. In fact many of the independent directors now on super fund boards are also on the boards of large companies and expect similar remuneration for each role. Check out fund's annual reports, 'about us' sections on their websites for remuneration and director information including their registers of relevant interests and duties. I'm more interested in the value for money that we members get from non-trustee monies paid to others eg advertising, sponsorships, industry associations. Funds shouldn't be spending members' money if it doesn't provide an increased benefit to members. This expenditure and any benefits resulting from it isn't fully publicly disclosed but should be. The recent scrutiny in this area is commendable but hasn't gone deep enough into the justification for the benefits, if any, to existing, not new, members. It should have to be estimated in $ before expended and there should be consequences for not delivering, in my view.

No, this is not about genuine employers. This is about the dodgy "employer representatives" who prop up union control of super funds in exchange for kickbacks.

What kickbacks are you referring to? This article is about genuine fully disclosed fees for trustee director duties. I have no problems with that. Are you alleging that AI Group or other employer group associations are in cohoots with unions against the employers they represent. That would seem illogical to me.

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