Super promise unites sector's rivals
Rival superannuation lobby groups are putting down their swords, as the $1.6 trillion retirement savings sector wins a promise from Labor to quarantine super from taxation changes for five years.
The Financial Services Council, representing for-profit "retail funds" run by banks, and Industry Super Network, representing the not-for-profit, union-aligned "industry funds", have traditionally been rivals.
But the lobby groups said on Thursday the super system's maturity required a united approach.
"On the eve of the election we are signalling to Canberra that the ISN and the FSC will work together on many key issues impacting fund members," FSC chief executive John Brogden said.
ISN's chief David Whiteley said the two groups should "lead the elevation of superannuation out of the political discourse and ensure policy making is considered, sector neutral and even handed".
Industry funds have traditionally outperformed retail funds, although this was not the case in the 2013 financial year. The Coalition has flagged plans to scrap the requirement that industry funds have equal numbers of employee and employer representatives on their trustee board.
The alliance follows an announcement by Treasurer Chris Bowen that a re-elected Labor government would not touch the taxation of super for five years - an idea that Australia's first superannuation minister Nick Sherry recently suggested was unrealistic.
The super industry has had some big wins over the past few years, including legislation to raise the super guarantee by a third to 12 per cent and self-managed super funds being able to borrow money to buy property.
But it had been angered by Labor's plans announced in April to introduce a tax on retirees whose private pensions are earning more than $100,000 a year.