28 Feb 2019
The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has been a time of concern and reflection for the financial services industry, and also for the millions of Australians who trust the companies within the industry to do the right thing. Unfortunately the hearings have shown that sometimes that trust has been misplaced. The final report was handed down on 4 February and at the heart of the report’s recommendations is clarification that the industry needs to be fair and honest, not mislead or deceive and provide services that are fit-for-purpose, with a tighter, more transparent accountability framework.
The final report is over three volumes, totalling more than 1,000 pages and includes 76 recommendations, 9 of which directly relate to super. Both the Government and the Opposition have voiced their support for action on all of the recommendations.
While we’re assessing these recommendations and what they might mean for our members, I want you to know that UniSuper is supportive of any legislation or initiative that delivers a better retirement outcome for our members and Australians more broadly. Reforms of this nature and scale take time and we’re keen to receive clarity from the Government about how each of the recommendations would be addressed. As the provider of the largest open defined benefit fund in Australia, we’re also keen to understand the implications of any changes for defined benefit funds.
Outside of super, financial advice business models were heavily scrutinised during the Royal Commission. Despite the numerous recommendations relating to the provision of financial advice, UniSuper is largely unaffected by the final recommendations relating to advice. Our advisers don’t receive commissions from any product or service provider, nor are they compelled or incentivised to recommend UniSuper products to members. This ensures our team of highly qualified advisers, who are committed to the highest educational, professional and ethical standards, act only in members’ best interests.
We’re committed to keeping you updated as we understand more about the implications of the recommendations for our fund and more importantly, our members. Ultimately, we’ll ensure we’re in the best position possible to achieve our aim of being the best value super fund in Australia. With some of the lowest fees in the market, strong long-term investment performance and a quality advice offering, we’re on track to achieve our aim now and into the future.
Chief Executive Officer