THE former Macquarie Group chief executive, Allan Moss, has weighed into the debate over Australia's $1.4 trillion retirement savings system, saying the superannuation industry's credibility has been damaged by perceptions it has a conflict of interest.
Mr Moss said superannuation customers had become increasingly fearful, after years of volatility and the marketing of unsuitable investment products.
"For the industry to regain trust, there needed to be an independent voice to represent investors in debates on superannuation policy," Mr Moss said.
"The industry is often perceived as having conflicts of interest," he said.
"It's often perceived as, quite naturally, having to act in the interests of shareholders as well as investors. So I think that the industry doesn't always have the appropriate credibility with government, and with the public and sometimes even with regulators."
Mr Moss left Macquarie in 2008 with a fortune worth more than $80 million at the time, and has rarely made public comments on the financial system in recent years. He is helping the government set up an independent body to represent consumers' interests in the often divisive policy debates on superannuation.
Others involved in the project include former Victorian premier, Steve Bracks, former corporate regulator Tony D'Aloisio and Choice chairwoman Jenni Mack.
Mr Moss said the initiative, which aims to help consumers navigate retirement products, was in the industry's interest.
"Getting a good outcome for investors is not only about producing good financial results ... It's also about people having confidence in the system ... and I think there's a lot of fear amongst investors," he said.