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Governance in the Australian superannuation industry

Benson, Karen L., Hutchinson, Marion R., & Sriram, Ashwin (2010) Governance in the Australian superannuation industry. Journal of Business Ethics, pp. 1-18.

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Abstract

In the Superannuation/Pension industry ordinary investors entrust their retirement savings to the trustees of the superannuation plan. Investors rely on the trustees to ensure ethical business and risk management practices are implemented to protect their retirement savings. Governance practices ensure the monitoring of ethical risk management (Drennan, 2004). The Australian superannuation industry presents a unique scenario. Legislation requires employers to contribute a minimum of 9% of the employees wage to retirement savings. However, there are no legislated governance standards, although there are standards of recommended governance practices. In this paper, we examine the level of voluntary adoption of governance practices by the trustees of Australian public sector and industry superannuation funds. We also assess whether superannuation governance practices are associated with performance and volatility/riskiness of returns. Survey results show that the majority of superannuation plans adopt recommended governance practices supporting the concept of ethical management of the member’s retirement savings. The examination of governance principles that impact returns and risk show that board size and regular review of conflicts are positively associated with return. Superannuation plans with higher volatility in returns meet more frequently.

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ID Code: 37818
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Board of Trustees, Superannuation governance, Pension plan governancde, Fund performance
DOI: 10.1007/s10551-010-0648-1
ISSN: 0167-4544
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BANKING FINANCE AND INVESTMENT (150200) > Investment and Risk Management (150205)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Corporate Governance and Stakeholder Engagement (150303)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Springer
Copyright Statement: The original publication is available at SpringerLink http://www.springerlink.com
Deposited On: 13 Oct 2010 08:27
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 00:26

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