Senate debates

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Questions without Notice


2:59 pm

Photo of Nick SherryNick Sherry (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law) Share this | Hansard source

It is a very serious issue and I do wish members of the Liberal opposition would listen. It is a very serious problem, and I am sure that there are many senators, as well as many people in the community, who have lost accounts. There are some important adverse consequences of having a lost superannuation account. One adverse consequence is a pretty obvious one: in the main most people never collect their money when they reach retirement. Given the staggering numbers of lost accounts, it is a very serious issue.

Of course, the other very serious issue is that, in the main, the longer you wait to claim your money—if in fact it is ever claimed—the more it is eroded by fees and charges. So your account goes backwards and it could sit in lost superannuation for 20 or 30 years and be eroded to nothing—if there is anything left to collect. It is a very serious structural issue in our superannuation system. The former government did try a range of initiatives to minimise this growth in lost superannuation. We had SuperMatch, SuperSeeker online and telephone SuperSeeker. We did not have SuperWatch, I am pleased to say. (Time expired)


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