No right for super funds to feel ‘exonerated’

Superannuation funds have no right to feel ‘exonerated’ by the Royal Commission, according to one MP, as they acted “maliciously” towards members.

Speaking in the House of Representatives on the Better Advice Bill, Liberal and chair of the Standing Committee on Economics, Tim Wilson, said super funds still believed they had done nothing wrong despite the Royal Commission findings.

“We have seen, literally, super funds who keep saying they were exonerated by the Hayne Royal Commission—exonerated! They have nothing to hide, they've done nothing wrong, nobody is criticising them and they're fantastic, 'Just look at our returns’,” Wilson said.

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“They literally, deliberately and maliciously undermined the superannuation savings of Australian retirees by reactivating low-balance inactive accounts so that they could harvest them for fees and insurance premiums.”

Changes had been since in the Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Act 2019 to protect fee erosion that saw inactive low-balance accounts transferred by super funds to the Australian Taxation Office where it could be consolidated into another active account on a member’s behalf.

Wilson said the Government would continue to “shine a bright light” into the problems in the financial services sector including industry super funds.

“The Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response—Better Advice) Bill 2021 is trying to fix up many of the problems that have been faced in the financial advice sector to enable financial advisers to go on supporting their clients and customers with confidence, and to make sure that there are proper mechanisms in place, where people who do wrong are held accountable for it.”

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