First Super, the $1.6 billion fund, has invited Tony Abbott to attend its board meeting in March or June to give the leader of the opposition experience of how employer-employee industry superannuation fund boards work.

First Super co-chair Alan Stewart says the invitation to the opposition leader came about as a result of Abbott’s criticism that union representatives on superannuation boards are paid too much.

“We have very committed directors,” says Stewart. First Super’s board has five employee representatives, five employer representatives and one independent director.

“The renumeration chairman sets fees. We’re a closely bonded board. We keep costs low” says Stewart.

Abbott has been invited to board meetings in Melbourne on March 27 and June 26.

First Super traces its origins back to 1974 when the Pulp & Paper Workers’ Superannuation Fund was established as Australia’s first industry fund.

Abbott voted against the increase in compulsory superannuation to 12 per-cent from nine per-cent. He does not think people should be compelled to contribute to a national pension plan.

Abbott’s office did not respond to phone calls and an email request for comment.

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