Funds face interrogation as retirement debate heats up

The government’s long-awaited retirement income review (RIR) is due to be released today as super funds face further scrutiny in Parliament.

The Treasurer’s office confirmed to ifa sister brand InvestorDaily that the controversial RIR would be released on Friday, after months of speculation as to its contents. The roughly 650-page report does not make recommendations, but its findings will likely be considered when the government decides whether to freeze the legislated SG increase. 

The RIR was not released to the super sector for consultation, and its release has been delayed to give the government space to address its findings. 

“It’s a fact base. And because of that we can release it out there and it can create so much headline chatter without any depth to it. I think we want to make sure that the government is ready to respond to it if not react to it,” senator Jane Hume told the Association of Financial Advisers Vision Conference in October. 

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HESTA, Rest, and the powerful Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) will also all appear before the standing committee on economics on Friday, which is continuing to scrutinise the sector “to ensure they’re putting members and members’ interests first”. 

“The significant numbers of Australians who have accessed their super during the pandemic highlights the need for the sector to be there for Australians when they need them,” said committee chair Tim Wilson. 

“Recently our scrutiny has raised questions about bonuses above $30 million for individual fund managers from the superannuation savings of Australians, prompted ASIC investigations into potential insider trading and anti-competitive behaviour within funds.”

Rest will be a particular target for the scrutiny, after revelations that an unnamed executive had moved money within the fund potentially in relation to the impending revaluation of its unlisted assets. ASIC has confirmed that it will investigate the material provided to it by Mr Wilson. 

“Following on from our hearing on 6 November, we are looking forward to exploring these and other super related topics further, as, particularly in times like these, it is crucial that the superannuation sector is operating effectively, fairly, and to the benefit of fund members,” he said. 

Funds face interrogation as retirement debate heats up
Funds face interrogation as retirement debate heats up
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