This project focuses on a review of the governance system within the Australian occupational superannuation industry, which is currently holding fund member assets valued at $1.3 trillion. These funds are attributable to approximately 94% of Australian adults, who are locked into a compulsory superannuation system.
This pool of funds is larger than Australia's gross domestic product (GDP), and the capitalisation of the Australian Securities Exchange equity market where they are the dominant investors. Of concern is that these monies are currently being regulated by the profession-based standard, AAS 25 - Financial Reporting by Superannuation Plans, which has not been materially changed by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) since 1992.
While a reform process has recently commenced with the release of ED 223 Superannuation Entities in December 2011 by the AASB, key issues of concern centre on a range of significant inadequacies within the current reform proposals. These inadequacies fail to address potential conflicts of interest/duty in the relationship between advisers, trustees and superannuation fund service providers.
Given this context, this project seeks to investigate ways to:
- promote and protect the interests of fund members in a post-global-financial-crisis investment environment
- inform and influence the actions of key stakeholders who have responsibility for the development and specification of superannuation standards/regulations.
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