Govt refocuses on industry fund governance

At the same time as canvassing requiring a majority of independent trustee directors on superannuation fund boards, the Government's White Paper on superannuation has reopened many of the most contentious issues flowing from the Cooper Review, including trustees disclosing their direct and indirect fund holdings.

The white paper, released by the Assistant Treasurer, Senator Arthur Sinondinos today, delivered on the Coalition's pre-election promise that it would seek to inject more competition into the default funds under modern awards regime by making all approved MySuper funds eligible to be default funds.

In releasing the document, Sinodinos said the Government wanted to align superannuation fund governance more closely with corporate governance principles, particularly those relating to companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

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"We are committed to improving the quality of information available to superannuation fund members and employers, which helps them to make informed decisions when comparing funds. A more informed market will lead to greater competition, consequently delivering increased value to consumers," he said.

Sinondinos said the discussion paper brought together superannuation prudential policy proposals from the Coalition's election commitments and "further policy issues necessary to provide certainty to the sector by completing outstanding aspects of the current regulatory regime".

In a discussion during a Financial Services Council (FSC) breakfast this morning, Sinodinos underlined the Government's approach to superannuation and industry superannuation funds by suggesting unions should not seek to use super as a bulwark for their influence.

Sinodinos made clear that the release of the white paper represented a precursor to a round of extensive consultation.

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