Senate debates

Tuesday, 31 August 2021



1:42 pm

Photo of Stirling GriffStirling Griff (SA, Centre Alliance) Share this | | Hansard source

[by video link] An enduring problem with superannuation is that many Australians have, without knowing so, invested in super funds with high fees and low returns. Many, without doubt, would be better off switching funds. But working out how to do this is often confusing and very stressful. Of course, not doing anything means less money for their retirement, and more money for retirement is certainly something that everyone wants to have. I supported the Your Future, Your Super reforms because they were going to help those very people.

I am pleased to see one of those measures actually taking effect today, with APRA publishing the results of the super fund performance tests. Funds that fail the test will be named and shamed. They will have to, in fact, notify members that they have failed and they must include the words, 'You should consider moving your money into a different fund.' Those are very, very powerful words. It's a very strong message, one which will have three beneficial effects—firstly, many workers looking for a new fund will choose not to invest in those failing products; secondly, some members of failing funds will invest elsewhere; and, thirdly, failing funds will have to change how they operate or close down entirely. The overall effect is that these requirements will flush out some of the rot from the super sector. All three effects will benefit Australians in their retirement.

The super reforms were bitterly contested, but I was an enthusiastic supporter because they will benefit the people who elected me. I was not elected by dud fund managers, ex-union bosses or executives pulling seven-figure salaries but by ordinary working Australians who want a dignified, financially secure retirement, and I'm very proud of it. (Time expired)