At least some of the 17 industry superannuation funds responsible for financing the “compare the pair” and “fox in the henhouse” advertising campaigns have received correspondence seeking an explanation of their expenditures from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
Money Management has confirmed that the chief executives of at least some of the 17 industry funds have received correspondence from the Royal Commission querying not only their financing of the advertising campaign but also seeking an explanation of other expenditures they have made.
The receipt of the documentation is understood to have followed on from correspondence between the Royal Commission secretariat and the legal representatives of Industry Super Australia (ISA) which has coordinated the advertising campaign.
Confirmation of the correspondence from the Royal Commission is consistent with the Government’s terms of reference released late last year which confirmed a focus on the degree to which superannuation fund expenditures were consistent with the sole purpose test.
It also comes as a survey undertaken by Money Management’s sister publication, Super Review, confirmed that while most superannuation fund executives and trustees supported the Royal Commission into banking and financial services, many did not believe it should also scrutinise superannuation funds.
The Royal Commission documentation is understood to seek significant detail from the superannuation funds, a number of which have now sought advice about how they should approach the handling of the issue.
Receipt of the documentation has surprised many in the superannuation industry because it has come so quickly after the Government’s publication of the terms of reference via the letters patent for the Royal Commission.