Excellence, best practice needed for fund governance: ASFA

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has stressed the need to focus on excellence and best practice among board members, regardless of who sits on boards.

It comes as the debate continues on the best model for superannuation fund governance.

ASFA chief executive officer Pauline Vamos said the debate should have three main outcomes. First, it should allow flexibility and authority to recruit individual board members with the required knowledge, experience and skills.

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Second, the members should be able to think and act independently from external relationships and focus on members' interests. Finally, there should be accountability for the performance of each individual and the whole board.

"While the debate up until now has largely focused on the level of independence of fund boards, what has been lost is a detailed discussion on the skills and experience required to navigate the changing nature of Australia's superannuation system and achieve positive retirement outcomes for fund members," Vamos said.

She said as more of the population moves to de-accumulation mode, more skill is needed around risk management and investment management.

She added the fund member, community and stakeholder should be able to trust the people managing Australia's retirement income system.

"The goal here is to ensure there is flexibility of process, widening and deepening the pool of trustees and establishing the clear ongoing accountability of individual and collective Board performance. No one size or structure fits all, as we have seen in the listed and private company space," she said




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