The $200 Million/Year Price Tag for Superannuation fund Governance: A Case Study of Fund Member Loss

Taylor, Suzanne M. (2007) The $200 Million/Year Price Tag for Superannuation fund Governance: A Case Study of Fund Member Loss. In Accounting & Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ) 2007, 1-3 July 2007, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.


As the 21st century began in Australia, 91% of all Australians were covered by superannuation. In turn, total superannuation assets had reached $960 billion by the first quarter of 2006 with balances in superannuation funds now the largest financial asset held by households. This substantial growth in superannuation coverage did not, however, occur as a result of free market forces operating between producers and consumers in the superannuation industry. Rather, this increase can be directly traced to the level of intervention in the industry by both the Labor and Coalition Governments throughout the 1980s and 1990s. This pattern has again been replicated in the 21st century with a "trilogy" of major superannuation reforms occurring in the period from 2001 to 2006 including the 2004 Registrable Superannuation Entity licensing (RSE) regime.

However, in spite of the public interest rationale provided by both governments, these regulatory reforms have failed to achieve recognition as a vehicle for advancing the welfare of Australian workers in their role as superannuants or for improving the welfare of the nation. Rather, criticisms relating to interest group lobbying for private gains continue to grow unabated.

With further major reforms looming and given both the critical importance of this issue at an individual and social level and the scarcity of existing cost/benefit studies in this area, this research paper seeks to fill this present gap in understanding. The analysis of these opposing claims will be undertaken within the public and private interest theories of regulatory reform. In order to inform this public versus private interest debate, summary data obtained from a recent trustee-based survey on the actual costs incurred and benefits received in relation to the RSE reforms will be utilised.

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ID Code: 14189
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Costs/Benefits, Registrable Superannuation Entity, Governance
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 28 Jul 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:13

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