Ian Silk, chief executive of AustralianSuper, received a 15.44 per cent raise for the 2014/15 financial year, the greatest increase in pay of a chief executive at a large super fund.

CPI for 2014/15 was 1.5 per cent meaning the raise was 10 times more than inflation.

His total remuneration package was $805,372 including a non-monetary benefit of $17,786 for motor vehicle parking benefits and any associated fringe benefits tax.

Silk’s fixed remuneration (salary and superannuation) in 2013/14 was $648,402 raising by 10 per cent to $713,242 in 2014/15. His pay for annual leave went from -$15,683 to $22,551, while his long service accrual increased by $5,742.*

The rise goes some way to adjusting Silk’s position from 2013/14 when his total remuneration of $697,670 was low relative to peers of large funds in the industry, particularly if funds under management (FUM) are considered. AustralianSuper has $92 billion in FUM while its nearest competitor, QSuper, has $60 billion.

The highest remunerated chief executive out of the large funds was, again, Rosemary Vilgan of QSuper. She had a raise of 7.23 per cent bring her total remuneration in 2014/15 to more than $1.13 million ($1,131,135). This included a long-term incentive of $81,914, a short-term incentive of $328,071 and a non-monetary bonus of $10,938.

Karl Morris, chair of QSuper, has gone on record stating the high salary was because QSuper has internalised complex functions including investment management, life insurance and administration, all of which Vilgan oversaw. The fund’s operations also involve a wholly-owned financial advice business, mortgage broking services and self-underwritten insurance products, as well as tailored administration platforms and systems it manages end-to-end.

Other key pay findings are as follows:

David Atkin, chief executive of Cbus, experienced an increase of 7.16 per cent to the total amount of remuneration paid to him in the financial year, receiving $639,592.**

Damian Hill, chief executive of REST, had a 7.81 per cent raise to $653,187, including a short-term incentive of $94,795 and a non-monetary benefit of $34,840.

Kevin O’Sullivan, chief executive of UniSuper, and Michael Dwyer, chief executive of First State Super, both had relatively small raises at 1.15 per cent and 3.12 per cent respectively.

Scott Hartley, chief executive of Sunsuper, received $831,142 including a short term incentive of $193,343 for 2014/15. Hartley became the chief executive in January 2014 and received $361,598 for his six month’s work to the financial year end in 2013/14.

For her eight months of service to February 27, 2015, HESTA’s former chief executive Anne-Marie Corboy received a remuneration of just under a $1 million ($999,196). Her successor, Debbie Blakey, received $185,192 for the remaining four months of the financial year.

This means HESTA spent more than $1.18 million on chief executives in 2014/15.

This is the second year super funds have been required to disclose pay. The introduction of section 29QB to the SIS Act requires all APRA regulated funds to report the remunerations of trustees and executives by Oct 30, for the preceding financial year.

Retail super fund chief executives were not included in Investment Magazine’s research as the operating structures were significantly different compared to other super funds. For example, some retail funds do not have a chief executive, but a division head whose superannuation duties form only a fraction of their overall role, or, in other cases, the super fund fully outsource its administration to another entity.


*This article was edited on 10/11/2015 to include greater detail of Silk’s remuneration structure. 

**This article was edited on 10/11/2015 as an earlier version incorrectly listed the increase to the total amount of remuneration paid as 10.27 per cent.

Join the discussion