Industry super fund governance review not released

A review and code of governance of the not-for-profit superannuation industry led by former RBA Governor and Treasury Secretary Bernie Fraser, which was due to be operational by now, has not been released. Industry Super Australia (ISA), which commissioned the review with the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST), has advised that a decision had been take to defer the release of the review’s report and recommendations until after the election.

While no commitment to public disclosure of the findings of the review was ever provided by either ISA or AIST, a code of governance conduct is not yet in place for industry super funds.

ISA and AIST commissioned the review in order to persuade a coalition of crossbench senators not to support the government’s 2015 bill, which mandated one-third independent directors and an independent chair on super fund boards. As a result of the promise of a best practice governance code of conduct for not-for-profit super funds, the crossbench senators agreed not to pass the government’s bill.

The code of conduct was meant to be mandatory for AIST and ISA member funds as of 31 May 2016, and was intended to complement APRA prudential standards and guidance.

Mandating all super funds to appoint a minimum of one-third independent directors and an independent chair was a recommendation of the Financial System Inquiry, led by David Murray.

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