Super has been around for a very long time but, even after 25 years of change, all the participants involved in regulating and servicing the asset are still saying it needs changing and fixing. 

The unions have a magnificent new slogan stating that “the fox is in the henhouse”. How very creative? I suggest there are more foxes in the henhouse than there are chickens! If anyone should be imposing control on super and the service providers involved, it should be the people who fund it.

Super is an employer-funded employee entitlement and it is the second biggest financial benefit provided to employees after salaries and wages. Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that it is in their best interest to motivate their workforce, employers are often the most complicit in the fact that super as an employee benefit is so poorly delivered.

Some people who should have integrity, in other words our legislature (aka the Parliament) would have us believe that super is a community and not a personal asset. The coalition even suggest that they are in the “best position” to fix what they have been trying to establish for 25 years. Indeed all credit to the Labor Party of 1992 that super was created as a compulsory savings scheme. Unfortunately, there is a growing perception that the Government is now most certainly one of the foxes in the henhouse as they secretly contemplate taking possession of the asset.

Then there are the master trusts, all four of the banks plus one or two significant platform providers. They also provide a false service methodology as they deliver little value beyond recording the remnants of the balance after they have milked it through a complicated raft of legitimate cost deductions. It is to the discredit of so many employers that this particular employee benefit is so poorly monitored and subsequently delivered to the people who own the asset, the very people that they are supposedly trying to manage and motivate.

Then you have the champions of working Australia, the unions. Each and every union has an industry fund that they subscribe to. They protest it is others who are in the henhouse but not themselves. Believe that if you are naive enough to think that they are not as bad as all the others who profess to manage this as a worker benefit.

So it is my opinion that it is in the best interests of employers to hold all the service providers involved with super as accountable for delivering the value we should all own. Employers do fund super and they have a core business to run. Yet they inexplicably ignore that their core business would run better if they delivered employee super as the second biggest financial benefit better than they do now.

Harry Burke – Director, Super Simpler

Published in The West Australian – October 2nd, 2017