Bill Shorten says superannuation fund governance is lacking and he will put before parliament legislation to improve it this year.

The Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation says he wants fund director fees disclosed and is seeking a better handling of related party transactions. Shorten also wants to bolster trustee board diversity.

“The current superfund governance is inadequate and lags banking, insurance and listed companies,” says Shorten in an email response to questions from I&T News.

“We issued draft legilsation late last year on improved governance standards and will introduce legislation as early as possible in 2012,” he says.

Shorten says Australian funds can negotiate better deals for their members.

“Australian funds need to use their market power to get a better deal,” he says.

“Fee impacts over a 30 year period are huge,” says Shorten. “The Healtcare of Ontario Pension Plan’s cost of managing fund is around 25 basis points.”

A basis point is one hundredth of a percentage point.

Shorten expects legislation “early this year” to increase the mandatory uperannuation contribution to 12 per cent to be introduced in the Senate.

“Super is at the top of my list of priorities to tackle in 2012, specifically getting the increase from nine per cent to 12 per cent through the Senate,” he says.


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