Super committee misses SMSF ‘elephant in the room’
A lack of self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) representation within the government’s superannuation Charter Group has been lambasted by the industry.
Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten announced the creation of the Charter Group last Thursday. According to Mr Shorten, the group has been set up to oversee the progression of the Charter of Superannuation Adequacy and Sustainability.
The five members of the group are former AustralianSuper chair Elana Rubin; former MLC chief executive Steve Tucker; Australian Prudential Regulation Authority deputy chair Ross Jones; former Cooper Review chair Jeremy Cooper; and former Federal Court judge Alan H Goldberg.
Chan & Naylor director David Hasib said it would be “remiss” of any superannuation group to be established without appropriate representation from the SMSF space.
“SMSFs account for a third of the money in super, and the space is growing faster than both retail and industry super funds,” Mr Hasib said.
To ignore SMSFs in the Charter Group would be to ignore the “elephant in the room”, he said.
Small Independent Superannuation Funds Association chairman Michael Lorimer agreed there was no direct representation of the SMSF sector.
“I don’t really see what the point or purpose of [the Charter Group] is, and I’d be quite sceptical about whether it’s going to achieve anything,” he said.
The new committee will only add another layer or two of potential bureaucracy to the industry, according to Mr Lorimer.
“The whole thing to me seems to be a lot of effort and energy exerted for something that I don’t think’s going to have a great deal of practical effect,” he said.
However, the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA) director, technical and professional standards, Graeme Colley, said his organisation accepted the formation of the committee as “a good idea”.
Mr Colley said SPAA understands the SMSF industry will probably be represented through the formation of other committees at a later stage.
“SPAA will actively work to ensure that the needs and views of our sector are conveyed to the group, and that the SMSF sector has an integral role in any future council,” he said.
Institute of Public Accountants chief executive Andrew Conway also welcomed the formation of the group, but bemoaned the lack of accounting or SMSF expertise.
“We were a little surprised to see the group form without an accounting practitioner on it,” he said. “I would have expected to have seen a representative of the accounting profession and a representative of the SMSF sector on that group.”