The chair of a key Parliamentary committee has been using formal questions on notice to superannuation funds to press them to determine whether they have been bailing out other funds perceived to be hard-pressed by the Government’s early release superannuation scheme.
The chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Tim Wilson has asked major superannuation funds whether they have provided liquidity to REST or HostPlus or “any other superannuation fund”.
The questioning has been associated with the Committee’s current review of the four major banks and other financial institutions and comes amid the perception that REST and HostPlus have been particularly affected by early release drawdowns because of the number of their members affected by COVID-19 lockdown impacts on the retail and hospitality sectors.
Wilson’s questions, which have inevitability generated negative responses from major funds such as UniSuper, have not only asked about the provision of liquidity to REST and HostPlus but whether other funds have loaned them cash and, if so, what amount, the date and the terms.
REST and HostPlus are being counted amongst the Top 10 funds affected by the Government’s hardship early release regime but both funds have satisfied the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) that they are more than capable of meeting the drawdown requests.