Unions NSW has slammed the Abbott Government’s attack on industry superannuation funds as an assault on a model that has been categorically proven to deliver superior returns to workers for the past three decades. 

Myriad studies have shown the overall superiority of industry super funds in terms of costs and returns, and a recent independent report found the industry funds’ trustee governance structure is the model most likely to maximise retirement incomes.

The McKell Institute report: The Success of Representative Governance on Superannuation Boards draws on 25 years of data and concludes there is no evidence that mandating independent directors on not-for-profit superannuation funds would improve fund performance.

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon said such a move is nothing but an ideological attack on a sector that has been proven to deliver the best outcomes for its members.

“The Abbott Government is so obsessed with tearing into unions, that they are even willing to risk the retirement savings of millions of Australian workers,” Mr Lennon said.

“While there is always room for reform across the superannuation sector, this is one area that is actually delivering and seems to be a solution in search of a problem.

“The trustee governance structure, which shares board positions equally between employer and employee representatives, has been proven as the most effective model in Australian superannuation. And that’s exactly why the big banks and the Coalition hate it."

Mr Lennon said the Federal Government is jeopardising trillions of dollars of Australians’ retirement savings by pushing ahead with the reforms without any strong evidence in favour of such a change.

“This is a classic example of cutting off your nose to spite your face and we are calling on the Government to rethink their fixation with fixing successful not-for-profit super funds and instead focus on tackling governance problems in other parts of the finance sector,” Mr Lennon said.

“While Unions NSW strongly supports good governance in super we don’t support a one size fits all approach that risks diluting rather than strengthening the super system.”

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