The standing committee on economics is set to heighten its scrutiny of the superannuation sector amid accusations of misuse of member funds and insider trading.
AustralianSuper, BT Super, Mercer, Suncorp and IFM Investors will all appear at the committee’s Friday hearing as MPs seek to ensure that the funds are putting their members’ interests first.
“The scrutiny the Economics Committee has applied to the sector has led the government to propose welcome reforms to ensure that funds are acting consistent with member’s best interests,” said standing committee chair Tim Wilson.
“Similarly, it is important that the sector is not using its leverage to achieve interests not aligned with financial returns for members, such as needless advertising for a compulsory product or to intimidate listed companies to be participants in public debate.”
Mr Wilson recently accused a number of super fund executives of “quasi insider trading” due to unusual switching behaviour through a period of market volatility in which a number of funds revalued their unlisted assets.
The advent of the Your Future, Your Super reforms has also driven the committee to more closely examine spending on advertising and other activities that do not meet the sole purpose test, including the fund of the industry fund-owned The New Daily.
“I’m looking forward to exploring this topic further, as particularly in times like these it is crucial that the superannuation sector is operating effectively, fairly and to the benefit of fund members,” Mr Wilson said.
One of the peak superannuation bodies has claimed that industry funds have “significantly outperformed” their retail counterparts and ca...