Superannuation rivals adopt united approach on key issues

Rival superannuation lobby groups are putting down their swords, with the $1.6 trillion retirement savings sector winning a promise from Labor to quarantine super from taxation changes for five years.

Rival superannuation lobby groups are putting down their swords, with the $1.6 trillion retirement savings sector winning 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 non-profit, union-aligned "industry funds" - have traditionally been rivals.

But the lobby groups said on Thursday that 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 in a joint release.

ISN chief executive David Whiteley said the two groups should "lead the elevation of superannuation out of the political discourse and ensure policymaking is considered, sector-neutral and even-handed".

Industry funds have traditionally outperformed retail funds, although this was not the case last year.

The alliance between the retail and industry groups follows a surprise announcement by Treasurer Chris Bowen that a re-elected Labor government would not touch the taxation of super for five years - an idea Australia's first superannuation minister, Nick Sherry, recently suggested was unrealistic.

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