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Ideology not evidence drives the Government’s superannuation agenda

  Published: 31 May 2018

This week the Productivity Commission draft report made a number of findings, including “not-for-profit funds as a group have systematically outperformed for-profit funds”.

Extraordinarily, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, appears unable or unwilling to accept the empirical evidence published by the Productivity Commission.

Asked 7 (seven) times yesterday by Sky News’ David Speers whether she would accept the Productivity Commission draft report finding that not-for-profit super funds “systemically outperform for-profit funds”; and/or “industry funds are on average outperforming retail funds”, the Minister refused to do so. *

In November 2016, Minister Kelly O’Dwyer pledged to: “lift superannuation funds to at least the same standard as other financial services organisations like banks and life insurance companies” (AFR, “Super industry laughs at O’Dwyer”, 23 Nov 2016)

It is now time for the Government to develop superannuation policy settings based on evidence, that are in the public interest and not driven by the ideology.

Government efforts to dismantle the governance model of industry super funds and scrap the safety net of workplace default funds (both lobbied for by the banks) should be abandoned.

Australia’s superannuation system is now $2.6 trillion and is central to the quality of retirement of millions of Australians as well as a potential pool of capital to invest in Australia’s economic growth.

Policy making needs to be bi-partisan, far-sighted and mature. There is no room for ideology when it comes to Australians’ super nest eggs.

The Australian public deserves better that the current ideological approach being taken by the Government.

*Transcript: Kelly O’Dwyer, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Minister for Women, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, 29 May 2018.

David Whiteley is available for interview. Media contact: Phil Davey 0414 867 188

*The above material, whilst correct at the time of publication may include references or statements which are no longer current.

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