AUSTRALIA'S $1.3 trillion superannuation industry lacks transparency and workers should receive more information about who governs their retirement money and where it is invested.
A CPA Australia issues paper calls for increased transparency and disclosure in the superannuation industry and says reporting standards should match those of publicly listed companies.
More than 75 per cent of CPA Australia members polled by the accountancy body believe there needs to be greater transparency around costs and underlying asset investments, and 90 per cent said trustee and senior management salaries should be more transparent.
"Super funds invest in publicly listed companies but don't even meet up with the respective reporting standard," CPA Australia CEO Alex Malley said.
But Industry Super Network chief executive David Whiteley said the industry was moving towards increased transparency, with a number of industry funds already disclosing the salaries of executives and directors in income bands.
Providing every member with a copy of a 200-page financial statement was useless, he said. "Our long-term challenge is disclos[ing] this information in a manner that is accessible and useful for our members." Mr Whiteley said net returns would remain the most important piece of information for members.
The CPA Australia paper said the global financial crisis highlighted the need for greater transparency, with many Australian superannuation funds invested in shaky overseas markets.
Financial Services Council chief executive John Brogden said he supported better governance and transparency in the superannuation industry and was working through new standards with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.