The sort of hairsplitting discussed in the article is what keeps lawyers in a job.
the best financial interests of members
spending members’ funds on things such as corporate hospitality or wellbeing services or news websites
Is the never-ending tide of advertising in the best financial interests of members?
Eleven of the 13 [funds that failed] have merged or are in the process of merging with better funds, which is how the system is supposed to work.
Is it in the best financial interests of members for such “mergers” to occur? I mean it may well be in the interests of the members in the failing fund but is it in the interests of the members of the acquiring fund? (It may be more closely in the best financial interests of the government i.e. to ensure that the super fund members don’t in their retirement become a burden on the taxpayer.)
I have a horrible feeling that what we will eventually get out of this is … reduced choice. Funds will go by the wayside and get merged into other funds, leading to only a few, bland megafunds - an oligopoly that is typical of Australia.
Once you have only a few megafunds, the test of failure becomes less relevant. It becomes harder for such a fund either to outperform or underperform the market (the relevant index) - or for that matter to outperform or underperform each other. Effectively there is an incentive to play it safe, and follow the herd.
I would have liked to see the disclosure requirement retained. Who doesn’t love a bit of embarrassment? The media could surely generate some headlines out of embarrassment:
Jones has drafted regulations that remove the requirement for itemisation while leaving in place the requirement for funds to report the totals to members.
It won’t save the funds work (they still have to itemise each payment in order to prepare the totals), but it will save them embarrassment.
I don’t think any of the changes by the former government were exactly terrible, and neither is winding them back (or pausing their implementation).
Ultimately I think the government (either colour) is operating under a misapprehension that Australians take an interest in their super i.e. that they care.