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Revive superannuation council, says Labor

Revive superannuation council, says Labor

Tim Stewart
— 1 minute read

Labor has questioned the Coalition's decision to scrap the Council of Superannuation Custodians shortly after regaining office.

Speaking at a Financial Services Council event in Sydney yesterday, Labor shadow minister for financial services and superannuation Jim Chalmers said more can be done to make super “more considered, thought-out and predictable”.

In May 2013, Bill Shorten (then-minister for financial services and superannuation) announced the creation of a Charter Group to address adequacy and sustainability in the superannuation system.

The Charter Group consisted of former MLC chief executive Steve Tucker, former AustralianSuper chair Elana Rubin, APRA deputy chair Ross Jones, Challenger chair of retirement income Jeremy Cooper and the Honourable Alan H Goldberg AO QC.

As well as the Charter Group, Mr Shorten sought to establish a Council of Superannuation Custodians to act as an “impartial, expert superannuation body” separate from the government.

In May 2013, then-superannuation shadow minister Mathias Cormann rejected the idea of a council of super custodians, and the Coalition government went on to dismantle the body when it took office.

Speaking in Sydney yesterday, Mr Chalmers said it was “unfortunate” that the proposed Council of Superannuation Custodians “does not get the consideration it deserves” – adding that the FSC itself rejected the formation of the council.

“The idea behind the council is for super policy to be developed, analysed and monitored by an independent body, outside of politics and outside of the electoral cycle,” he said.

“The council would report every five years to the government of the day on the key areas for reform in super.

“What the proposal doesn’t mean is that government exits the stage from superannuation. The government would retain its role of developing and implementing policies which go to the legislature, and to refer super policy ideas and priorities to the council for consideration and analysis,” Mr Chalmers said.

“But the hope is that the council would help to deliver big changes which are considered and consultative, rather than ad hoc and developed in the weeks prior to the [federal] budget.

“It would bring more voices – independent, consultative voices – into the room to develop and analyse super policy.”

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Revive superannuation council, says Labor
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