RC didn’t dive deep enough on superannuation

AustralianSuper’s chief executive, Ian Silk, has suggested that the Banking Royal Commission didn’t cast a stern enough eye over parts of the superannuation industry on a panel discussion at the Conference of Major Superannuation Funds on the Gold Coast today.

Silk questioned the Royal Commission’s focus on NAB and NULIS for almost half the superannuation hearings last year, saying he had expected that evidence to be used to point to documentary filings to the Commission that the other Big Four banks had acted the same way.

This wasn’t the case however, with Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s final report singling out just NAB in parts of its superannuation findings.

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“And I tell you what, they were dancing a jig when the report came out, the other three [big banks], thinking they got off lightly,” Silk said, noting that NAB’s behaviour in reality was an example of systemic rather than isolated misconduct.

The chief executive also addressed whether the Commission had been light on industry funds, as some in the industry suggested at the time, acknowledging that it wasn’t only for-profit funds that had practice issues.

“I look around the super sector and the problems aren’t all in the retail sector,” Silk said. While he said that some questionable decisions made by industry funds could be “fudged” as in the interests of most members, he said that community expectations going forward would dictate that trustees acted in members’ interests all of the time, not just some of it.

Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST] chief executive Eva Scheerlinck, speaking on the same panel, also raised some questions about the Royal Commission’s overall findings. She labelled the final report “an anti-climax”, saying that she had expected recommendations for prosecutions and further investigations.

Scheerlinck noted however, that “the commentary in the report [beyond the recommdnations] actually has a lot sitting behind it and we’ll see a lot coming out of it” going forward.

Silk also attempted to shoot down concerns that a Labor Federal Government would be biased toward industry funds, reflecting broader concerns that some of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s election promises would give undue power to the unions.

“There’s a bit of a view that a Labor Government would be the salvage of industry funds,” Silk said. “That’s not true.” Rather, he felt that a Shorten Government would adopt a “pro-member mindset” and industry funds would have to meet that, as would retail funds.




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No Ian, it is true.
Between the 2013-2014 and the 2016-2017 financial years, industry funds ploughed a total of $18,438,516 directly into Trade Unions coffers.
The Rivers of Gold Report by the Institute of Public Affairs in 2017 identified the following:
Then Australian Super Director, Brian Daley donated his Directors fees to the Labor Party entity, United Voice.
These amounts are listed as 2014-15 $122,659, 2015-16 $128,800 and 2016-17 $134,689, totaling an amount of $386,148.
United Voice alone received a total of Industry Fund Directors Fees of $2,386,164 in this time frame, with the CFMEU receiving $2,884,168 and the ACTU receiving $2,050,363.
If this is not a major cause for concern, then what the hell is ?????
If there are millions and millions of dollars flowing from Industry Super to the Labor Party entities, it is for a reason.
The reason is that if or when Labor gains political power, the debt will be repaid many,many times over.
This is about about buying power and control.
The Industry Super funds cover themselves by stating they are not using members monies to donate to Labor Party entities, but it is a voluntary election from the Director to donate their fees.
How are the Directors Fees funded ????..........from the members monies.
The relationship between Industry Super, The Labor Party and the Trade Union movement is about as close as it can possibly be and they are working in unison to transfer power,money and eventually legislation to benefit each entity's
financial well being and survival.
The Sole Purpose Test?........not likely.

Well said.

I love the fact the the union funds hide behind the fact that the problems identified only relate to the banks and AMP. It's pretty easy to say that when ASIC has not looked at the union funds at all. It seems everyone knows the issues with union funds except ASIC and the general public. We keep asking because we never get an answer, but why does ASIC refuse to look into the union funds?

Interesting that the conference at which Silk is speaking is titled the Conference of Major Super Funds but only allows attendance from the not-for-profit sector. There's a handy guide / pro-forma letter on the associated website showing how to persuade your "boss" that you should attend - and pay the hosting organisation the rather hefty fees. Junket much? Perhaps this is all standard conference stuff and the fees are perfectly reasonable, but the arrogance of the conference title is stunning.

Silk thinks Shorten will adopt a “pro-member mindset”?

Of course he will. UNION members that is. It won't just be CBus spending people's retirement savings on job creation schemes for union members. Shorten will probably force all super funds to do it. He'll couch it in terms of making super fund tax concessions conditional on meeting "social investment targets". Superannuation is becoming the unions' new vehicle for holding the country to economic ransom. It's going to be like the 1970s except with Silk & Weaven instead of Painters & Dockers.

Silk and Weavin' seem to go together !

Yes, the amount of power they have with the amount of money they now control (and legislation exemptions and regulators looking the other way and attacking their competition) I suspect we are at a major turning point in Australian Political history. Libs will be unlikely to ever get in power again and if they do, they will have Industry Super controlling more wealth than ever in Australian history - and be able to influence any company board or simply take it private.

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