The attempt to force industry funds to have independent trustees is a “frustrated-student political resolutions masquerading as long-term policy”, Minister Bill Shorten told delegates at CMSF.

Veering from his speech in praise of Labor’s record of creating and maintaining superannuation to answer a question from a delegate, the minister for financial services and superannuation told of his outrage at the efforts of Liberals to interfere with the governance of industry funds.

“This argument that it should be one-third employer, one-third employee, one-third independent, as innocuous as it sounds, is a remarkable political and ideological intrusion into the governance of a $400-billion sector. Imagine if a Labor opposition to a conservative government said ‘we have got an amendment, we want to change the governance of retail funds and tell them what director and tell them that APRA can appoint directors’. They would say ‘that is not appropriate’.

“So please, when we talk about confidence in superannuation, can the ideologues on the far right of the Liberal Party stop trying to interfere with the governance overall of just one section of the superannuation market in Australia, which has $400 billion. The Libs would not do it to any other part of the Australian economy.”

And Shorten said it was behoven on industry funds to make their voices heard on this question.

“This industry needs to be firm in saying ‘hands off’ to the Liberals as it is about other issues. Millions of Australians do not deserve to have frustrated-student political resolutions masquerading as long-term policy when millions of people’s retirements are at stake.”

Shorten left the stage to loud and sustained applause from delegates.

Day 2 newsletter from CMSF 2013
Day 1 newsletter from CMSF 2013

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