ISA denies ‘scare campaign’ on major banks

Industry Super Australia says its recent advertising campaign ‘blows the whistle’ on efforts from banks to tilt superannuation rules in their favour, thwarting government accusations that it is a “scare campaign”.

ISA said in a statement that the federal government was using language routinely used by bank lobbyists, referring to industry super funds as “union-backed” and suggesting its recent advertising was a “union scare campaign”.

ISA chief executive David Whiteley said there was a responsibility for government to deal with the industry in an even-handed and impartial way and make policy decisions based on sound evidence.

“It is disappointing the government overlooks these facts as it attempts to slur some as the country’s highest performing funds that collectively manage half a trillion in assets for more than five million members,” Mr Whiteley said.

“The government should focus its scrutiny on the chronic and unexplained underperformance of bank-owned super funds over the past 20 years rather than providing an open door for their lobbying efforts.”

Earlier this week, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer said in a statement that the whole basis of the ISA campaign “is bizarre” and “jumping at shadows”.

She said there is currently no government legislation designed to change the default superannuation model before Parliament.

Instead, Ms O’Dwyer suggested the main problem is whether members’ super savings should be spent on an advertising campaign.

“It is beholden on industry super funds, which bankroll ISA using members’ retirement savings, to disclose to their members how much they have contributed to this latest round of self-indulgent scare campaigning and lobbying,” Ms O’Dwyer said.

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