Superannuation

Australian superannuation now constitutes one of the world’s largest specific retirement savings pools. It is an area beset by misinformation, vested interests and difficult legislation. The aim of this area is to bring some clarity to the area of superannuation in Australia today.

Super Guarantee rate increase and financial planner fees

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Now it makes a bit more sense… Why had the industry funds been making such a push for banning commissions, to the point where you could argue that their members’ funds were being used to pay for a campaign that didn’t actually improve the position of the members (because their members were already in funds…

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Be gentle on ‘Industry Funds’ – they know not what they do.

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The front page of todays Australian Financial Review (AFR) includes an article titled “Unlisted assets drag down super fund returns”. In it, the returns of ‘Industry Funds’* is suggested as showing falling returns into a recovering market. This is entirely expected, and should not be a reason to argue against the ‘Industry Fund’ attraction to…

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Superannuation remains Largely Unexplained

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Todays Australian Financial Review (p3) carries an artile titled “Super funds warned” in which Jeremy Cooper (“chairman of the federal government’s review of the $1.2 trillion superannuation industry”) suggests that Australian super funds need to increase returns and gain greater scale to increase opportunities. The example given is “Two Canadian pension funds with a combined…

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Noise – it’s all just noise..!

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My brother sent this photo yesterday. It is the view from his current workplace, in Laos. Here is my view… Sometimes the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day can stop us from seeing and thinking clearly. When considering money issues, this is the most common cause of mistakes being made. It may sound easy to…

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Why Industry Funds are good “Default Funds” in awards

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There has been quite a bit of debate in recent times on various clauses in various “Awards” as they relate to superannuation.

Some argue that this takes away “member choice” and that it unfairly promotes “industry funds” (i have not used capital letters, as i have not investigated whether all awards with these provisions specifically relate to funds that are members of the Industry Funds marketing group). However, i would argue that this is in fact a very good basic step to take in many cases….

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“Industry Funds” – Compare the pair

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Just a moment please, while i don my titanium-lined protection suit… Members of the super fund industry are particularly sensitive at the moment, so anything that i may say here will undoubtedly be taken incorrectly, misquoted or distorted in some other way. Previous attempts to bring a bit of plain English to the super funds…

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Should the Government control how your super is invested?

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There is currently no specific direction provided by Government regulation (ignoring very specialised situations) on where a super fund must invest money. There is a requirement instead that the Trustee ensured the fund assets are appropriate to meet its obligations to fund members (that’s my interpretation of far more technical wording). Over time there have…

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But who’s thinkin’ aboot the Bebe?

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It is a favourite parody scene from some of my favourite comedies – in the midst of a terrible turmoil there is someone runing from pillar to post, pulling out their hair while yelling (usually with an enforced accent), “but what about the baby?” It may be a long bow to draw any similarity but…

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