Ridout new chair of AustralianSuper

Reserve Bank board member Heather Ridout has emerged as one of the most powerful figures in the nation's superannuation industry after being named as chairman of the country's largest super fund, the $60 billion AustralianSuper.

Reserve Bank board member Heather Ridout has emerged as one of the most powerful figures in the nation's superannuation industry after being named as chairman of the country's largest super fund, the $60 billion AustralianSuper.

Ms Ridout, who has been on the board since 2007, replaces Elana Rubin, who will finish at AustralianSuper next week after 20 years at the fund.

Ms Ridout is a former chief executive of industry body Ai Group, and serves as a director for Sims Metals and ASX Ltd. She has also served on a number of government advisory boards, including the Henry tax review panel.

The appointment comes at a critical time with AustralianSuper involved in a legal battle with the federal government's Future Fund over the fund's purchase of a stake in Perth Airport.

Meanwhile, the nation's prudential regulator released the final reporting requirements for super funds, as part of plans to submit the industry to the same level of oversight as banks and insurers and improve confidence in the $1.5 trillion system. The Australian Prudential and Regulatory Authority paper said the superannuation data reporting standards were the result of six months of discussions with groups such as registered superannuation entities, actuaries and life insurance forms.

"The submissions generally expressed support for enhancements to APRA's reporting collection, but raised a number of issues about the details of the proposed approach.

The primary issues raised in submissions related to the structure of the reporting collection, commencement dates, frequency of collection, timeliness of due dates and audit requirements," it said.

APRA said from July 2013, it will introduce 35 reporting forms to replace current reporting requirements.

The regulator will also implement a phased introduction of the requirements, to give registered superannuation entities time to adjust their processes.

The plans were first released in September 2012, in a bid to improve confidence in the industry and follow recommendations from the Gillard government's "stronger super" reforms.

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees said yesterday's report contained few surprises.

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