Will Govt’s YFYS legislation force a cull of superannuation associations?

Major superannuation industry organisations may find themselves suffering collateral damage from the Government’s new Your Future, Your Superannuation with funds being asked to justify the payment of large membership fees.

There are three significant industry associations representing the superannuation industry with the two organisations expected to be the most exposed being the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) and the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST).

ASFA represents a cross-section of superannuation funds, while the AIST is regarded as mostly representing industry and profit to member superannuation entities.

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The acting chairman of this week’s committee hearings reviewing the YFYS legislation, NSW Liberal backbencher, Senator Andrew Bragg, specifically challenged superannuation funds and others giving evidence about the industry organisations in which they held membership.

Bragg also queried whether there were too many organisations seeking to represent the superannuation industry.

Later, answering a query from Super Review, Bragg said the current situation of half a dozen industry organisations seeking to represent the industry was “intolerable and unsustainable”.

When the question of how many associations were active in seeking to represent the superannuation industry, the AMP represents acknowledged that “some consolidation would be sensible”.

The committee hearing heard from the Financial Services Council (FSC) that in terms of the proposed new legislative arrangements around members’ best financial interests, it was possible that superannuation funds could be challenged on whether their membership of particular industry associations was delivering members value for money.

The FSC deputy chief executive, Blake Briggs, said that the FSC would be comfortable with that sort of scrutiny with respect to its superannuation fund members.

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