Superannuation: Assessing Efficiency and Competitiveness
Included are only those comments for which the submitter gave their approval for use of their comment by the Commission. Some comments have been edited to remove information which the Commission considered to be defamatory, or which could enable identification of the submitter.
Super fund members (59)
1. Who is going to decide the 'top ten' default funds? It still sounds like the government wants its one-third 'independent' directors on boards. Many of the industry funds are performing well thank you very much.
Of more concern are the businesses that don't pay super on behalf of their employees. 'Modern work' is also not recognised. If, for example, you are a relief teacher then there are school holidays to contend with. You may not meet the minimum contribution amount in wages for half the months of the year.
I don't watch commercial TV but somehow I've seen ads re: commercial cf industry superfunds and info. about finding lost super. Why not a large scale mail out of info. and translated into different languages. This could cover whether insurance is needed and a consumer site to compare funds
3. As a young person I know that a lot of young people only earn a small amount of super and I have heard many stories of all or at least a very large amount of someone's super contribution being swallowed up by fees from Super funds, giving people the tools and opportunity to make a simple choice between different Super Funds would allow young people to actually earn money on their super not just loose it all in fees and let them find the best super fund that suits young people and their needs
- Raison d'etre of the FF is to build wealth to meet unfunded liabilities
- CSC has $40b AUM
- FF has $166b AUM
- FF returns have out-performed CSC performance over each and every term.
- Combining funds will save upwards of $125m annually through reduced exec. remuneration and reduced management overheads.
Thanks for the opportunity to provide comment.
5. Allowing employers to nominate or lock in employees to a fund is clearly not in the employee's best interests. All young workers should start on a publicly administered fund, with the option to move to an industry or retail fund if they desire. All funds should be more transparent. All super insurance should be opt in rather than opt out.
6. I would like to be able to use my superannuation help to make payments on my HELP-HECS debt as my superannuation would not be eroded by fees and interest accumulated on my debt. Furthermore I would be in a better position to make voluntary contributions during employment as I would have lesser HELP-HECS debt to repay.
7. Generally, I am for the changes. I would rather they happen than not. That said, I am moderately concerned about how to ensure super funds keep innovating. I don't just want these best in show funds to slowly become complacent with our money, just because their isn't some young fund with potential shooting up the side. I don't know what superfund innovation looks like, but if the rumours of taxing super are true, then perhaps tax incentives can be used to encourage innovation in our super funds, which in the end makes a better future for everyone.
8. I think superannuation is generally a good thing, and I appreciate how Australia has a compulsory superannuation system to encourage saving (because I would probably not invest enough for retirement if there weren't policies to encourage that).
Having said that I have generally had a poor experience with the super system so far. I have worked in a couple of short-term casual jobs and have received a small amount of super. In my first job the total amount of super I had remaining was half of what was initially contributed by my employer, before I was able to access it. I checked to see if there were funds that were much cheaper, however was surprised to find out I would have been better off financially receiving the money myself and holding it in any bank account. I have also had to pay life insurance even though I wouldn't usually, and use a super fund I probably wouldn't choose because both were the default options when super was contributed. I have also found it hard to check my account online, but that may be a general customer service issue that is not due to the super system itself.
The main way to make the system better in my case would be to allow young people who work very few hours or earn a low income to access their superannuation in the form of wages.
The other ways I believe have been recommended in the draft report, including:
- The employee being able to choose what their super account is before the employer makes a contribution
- Not allowing super companies to opt people into life insurance without being asked to by the individual
- Having a single super account which every employer contributes to rather than multiples ones chosen by the employer
- The top 5 or 10 best performing funds and/or the funds with the lowest fees being presented to employees when they make the choice of which company manages their super.
9. I have two concerns about the super system.
1. my employment is perpetually insecure, reliant on private sector and government contracts. I would like to have the freedom to put in extra money - beyond what might constitute an acceptable level of yearly contribution that is preserved and untouchable until I retire - that would hopefully remain in my super balance but could be accessed without a hassle if I need it
2. I feel chronically concerned about the security of the money I have in super, so much so that I have considered attempting to do a self-managed fund, despite having neither the time, interest or aptitude. The chronic corruption and greed in the financial services sector generally, the government's increased needs for revenue but declining revenue streams leaves me to wonder when, not if, a grab will be made for this money for ‘investment’ or other purposes that could put some or all of it at risk. I know I'm not the only Australian with this concern. The current government needs to ensure these funds are protected, both from greedy fund managers who want to invest them in a fashion that is too risky or just steal them under the nose of toothless and underfunded regulator, and from future politicians who want to access it for their own purposes, putting the hard-earned savings of Australians like me at risk.
10. For the last 10 years, I am with industry fund NGS Super. When I first joined, even though I was warned that I would never be able to revert my decision, I chose not to buy insurance because of my personal circumstances - I am single and my sons have much more assets than me, so why bother!? About 3 years ago, NGS board wrote to me to inform me that I will start paying at least one unit of life insurance unless I opt-out. The tone of the letter was they were doing me a favour letting me re-join.
I was incensed because I felt that this was their way to squeeze as much money from members as they could because as industry super, they have to remain low fee. One unit of insurance is just $2.50, but they have over 98,000 members. Also, the opt-out set up was to their advantage. Of course I opted out , complained and got an apology letter. By the way, they also offer financial planning service, which I know is quite expensive. So we are customers, not members!
There are pros and cons to suggested reforms, such as for the Best 10 list, but I think we need to try them out because the evidence is overwhelming that both industry and retail funds have been ‘misbehaving’ for a long time. Even my puny experience cited above bore that out. The temptation $$$ is just too great and the majority of people don't even know they need help to navigate super.
I thank you wholeheartedly for your work.
11. As an ex-serviceman I have a substantial amount of Super in the under performing military super fund. Due to government rulings, post that nest egg being used to buy two elections, I am unable to consolidate my super. This needs to change.
12. This ‘best in class’ model reduces competition and increases the monopoly the large players have in the market. This is poor neo-capitalism thinking, shame on you...
13. I work in local government in Victoria and have health super,(first state super)but can't get my health super contributions .(.salary sacraficing and contributions ....about $1500 per month contributions))sent direct to health super as l have been told years ago that my contributions must go via vision super ,a clearing house is the jargon used, Vision is what my workplace users as their super provider. vision super send to Westpac my contributions when I get paid but Westpac do not place it my health super account for 4 weeks. i have complained on a number of occasions, but nothing has changed. this has happened for years and I am losing money because of this situation. I spoke to my Union but very unhelpful. my workplace much the same. and both did not want to do anything and blamed each other. I understand that Westpac should deposit money into health super immediately when received from vision super but this has never happened. over time I have lost money due to this situation of westpac keeping the money for 4 weeks. i have checked when my super is reaching my health super, and it's deposited monthly. Vision Super blame Westpac. Westpac blame vision, my workplace and the union blame each other, and health super tell me they cannot do anything...Pretty pathetic really. The latest is that Vision Super told me via a phone call that's it's Westpac that drag there feet, but both vision and the union say nothing can be done.....Can this be raised as many of my colleagues are in the same boat.
14. First job, via a job agency, that had super was setup using their default, they later changed the default to Colonial First and advised that all employees would be changed in a letter unless they opted-out.Once I stopped working there I rapidly found the funds disappeared as there was nothing going into the fund until they cancelled the insurance, the amount then fluctuated by a few cents. (After this I kept the account open mostly out of spit to keep them paying for the post and printing). I eventually closed it and rolled it into my other account but this was put back onto me to contact them to authorise it (so the ability to do this is not the easiest).I've also had issues with insurance (I would have been paying for insurance in two funds at the time of the above cancellation). With my current fund HostPlus the insurance needed to be increased. When I applied I had to follow up the superfund, who then sent me to MetLife and I ended up losing track of how many other people and agencies I dealt with for them to do their due diligence. In the end (after exceeding the time they should have responded within) they were not willing to offer insurance except life at 50% additional cost (the only insurance I didn't require but was packaged with total permanent disability (TPD) (not included in offer). I was not provided with why the TPD or Income Protection was refused. Family medical data was also found without permission by the assessor.I suspect the initial insurance wouldn't have covered me had something have happened due to exclusions. I've since engaged a financial advisor to get the insurance I require but this poor performance resulted in me being stuck with a policy that would not have been adequate and may not have paid out had something occurred.The only upside was that at least HostPlus made it easy to cancel the insurance. The only response to the time it took to respond was that their underwriter was short staffed and has put more on.
15. I believe that super should be managed by the government for the people. I had a private super scheme with a little money in it and they took all of my money in insurance charges.
I believe the super should sit with the government and be used for building and infrastructure projects with at least a minimum guaranteed return to people. The current schemes only fill the pockets of rich executives and leave the small people who pay in poorer in retirement. We have no Guarantee of getting even a minimum return on our fund investment. The only thing I’m certain of is that the fees keep going up. Why aren’t fees linked to productivity of the fund? Make no profit get no fees. That might work.
Thank you for the opportunity to make a comment.
16. I believe that the practice of superannuation trusts having their own system when it comes with dealing with super of deceased members needs to change.
I may devise a will leaving my assets to my friends, distant relatives and charities (I have no dependents) however, my superannuation is dealt at the discretion of the super trust which could be completely at odds of my intentions. The need to complete a binding nomination every few years is inefficient, difficult and time consuming. On my death my super should be treated as an asset of my estate and handled accordingly to my will. Thank you
17. I write concerning my daughter, who worked at a petrol station for a few months as a cashier after finishing high school in 2013. Her employer asked her to nominate a super fund so I helped my daughter set up a REST Super account. Unbeknown to us the employer set up a separate fund with Sun Super and paid benefits into that. I have no way of knowing whether he paid the right amount in but the point is, everything that was put in there in H2 2014 - $66.77 - was rapidly swallowed up by fees and insurance premiums. By 30 June 2015 the balance was down to $5.02, by 30 June 2016 it was zero. Then out of the blue in February 2018 my daughter received a cheery letter from Sun Super telling her they'd restarted her insurance cover. That was it - nothing about any new contribution received. The mystery was resolved in May when the ATO sent a letter advising her that a further $10.30 had been paid into her account by her former employer. On getting that letter my daughter checked and sure enough, the $10.30 had been swallowed up by Sun Super fees and charges again. Presumably her life/TPD insurance has now been cancelled again. So in total she has lost all of the only super contributions that had ever been paid on her behalf - what a swindle! Not such a loss for her ($78 in total, although it would add up over the longer term) but multiply that across Australia and it gives you a good idea of the ransacking of super funds occurring on an industrial scale, particularly super funds set up for young and financially unaware young people. It is a disgrace and not what the super system is meant to do.
18. I am a 38 year old degree holding MBA who works in Business Intelligence. I invest significant time researching the superannuation market to ensure I am getting the best performance, risk exposure and allocation structure for myself and my family - even with my skills and persistence, I find it incredibly difficult to make heads or tails of the multitude of funds and products in this market.
Comparable performance data between funds and allocations is difficult to source. As an example, Superannuation: Assessing Efficiency and Competitiveness Draft Report
Technical Supplement 4 Page 33 does the laudable act of listing investment returns for each index - and then lists them for a 12 year period. I have not found a fund that has a similar time benchmark which I can compare this against.
This would matter less if the raw data for both this report and super funds was freely available for consumer analysis. It is an easy matter for all funds to publish near real time performance, fee and allocation data to an open data source.
An open data project which ensures super funds produce and publish comparable, consumable, quality data is vital to allow consumers the ability of informed choice.
19. When I started a casual university job two years ago, my contributions were automatically put in a Unisuper account as there was no option to use my preferred fund, one with lower fees and a better return. I did not receive my first statement until I had been contributing for three months. Then I discovered I had actually lost a proportion of my contributions to pay for unwanted insurance (which I immediately cancelled) and high fees. At the end of the semester I transferred the balance into my preferred fund, only to find that I could only do this once every 12 months. I am stuck with a fund that gives a lower return and forced to pay two sets of fees just because I work for a university.
20. I’m just out of and have no clue or understanding about the super or tax system. I would recommend a system to better inform the young community on the benefits of super and the tax system.
21. The average super balance by age between men and women speak to the inequality inherent in Australia.
22. (1) The information provided on superannuation funds' websites is incomplete. For example, the online site of my corporate superannuation fund (Plum) includes information on the balance, investment mix and contributions. However it includes no information on fees, charges or investment earnings. In addition, while there is information on the investment classes, there is only limited information on the actual underlying investments.
(2) Many superannuation funds (including Plum and ANZ) have fixed interest investments. The risk associated with fixed interest investments can vary significantly depending on the duration of the investment and the counter-party's credit rating. However it is not possible to determine in either the PDS or in the online and annual reporting any information associated with the duration or credit rating of these investments. Nor is there any information on the investment philosophy. If there is a significant increase in interest rates, it is quite possible that many investors in what they thought were low risk investments will incur significant capital losses as a result of undisclosed, poorly disclosed, or inaccurately disclosed risks.
23. The super system has worked well for me. a member of a larger, well-performing industry fund. I have fought off advances from bank and other financial planners, hoping to get their hands on my super. The reason I am set up in my retirement is because of the 17% contributions specified in the EBA. My fund has 3 independent directors out of 11, and I don't see a need for more than that. Many directors have actuarial, financial or economics backgrounds. My fund gives me more options to invest than I need but I cannot fault their communication channels e.g. online dashboard.
24. Taxation is overly complicated. Too many permutations and scenarios make it time consuming/costly to determine optimal strategy. Choosing a fund extremely confusing. Understanding what the fund invests in, what the strategy is and costs is extremely challenging. Disclosure is focussed on generic advice about risks rather than on the fund itself.
25. My teenage son worked in his holidays for two years. Host Plus consumed all his super in fees and an insurance plan he had no choice in until it was all gone, then cancelled the plan. He thinks super is stupid and ripped off both him and his boss. There should be no fees on support until 21 or working full time.
26. As a young worker many years ago I was defaulted into multiple super accounts during my time working casual jobs to pay my way through university.
Like most young people I was somewhat disengaged at the time but some years later, upon realising MY money was sitting in a number of different accounts, I tried to consolidate. The process was painful and as it dragged on it was costing me in fees, including incredibly 'exit fees'.
Thankfully the introduction of the MyGov system has made it much easier to consolidate but the experience stuck with me. This was, and is, MY money. Super is OUR money. For too long across the whole industry be it retail funds, industry funds, wherever you look, self-interest is far too common and it's the members who suffer. It beggars belief that anyone would object to the moves suggested in the report that would minimise or eliminate multiple accounts and the costs associated with this. It also beggars belief that anyone would resist the top 10 performers list. This is the best idea I have heard in a long time and the only thing that I could see getting in the way of this is self-interest (directors, fund managers etc.) This is an industry that is as opaque as I have ever seen and for the sake of its members should heed ALL the lessons from this report.
27. I had six months of unemployment recently. I cancelled my income protection insurance with QSuper but had a lot of trouble reapplying when I was employed again (even though I had been a public servant for 11 years previously with little illness). Their customer service during this time was poor and unresponsive.
28. Superannuation needs the following changes:
1- allow binding death benefit nominations for every single superannuation fund so I can direct where my funds go when I die. My superannuation is my most significant asset. I want to have the power to direct where this goes or, at the very least, my estate should decide this NOT the superannuation fund.
2- all consumers should have control as to how administration fees are spent to ensure our superannuation doesn’t whittle down to 0.
3- we should have a simple way to compare superannuation funds so our choice is made on all the available evidence.
4- the default funds for employees should be one of the top 10 performers.
29. Our superannuation is far too complex for many to understand. People's control over their superannuation is very limited. The information that people get about their super accounts is often difficult to obtain and obscure. The fees and overheads charged by funds managers are not visible to many. Duplicate insurance policies within multiple super accounts should not be allowed. This is a complete waste of money. Its not easy for a person to change their super fund.Setting up a self managed super fund has put me in control of my super but it was not easy to setup and it takes time to manage.People should have a single super account they have access to and control over and be able to direct any employer to pay into it.A much simpler super system is needed to provide people with good information about their super accounts and control over them.
30. I get letters in the mail and all this other stuff but I feel like there is no way to understand them. Also, the funds show me fees but don’t tell me why they’re charged and why theirs are higher. Finally, I would love it if there is a disclosure to say if the fund uses professionals or hires consultants who make the feels go higher.
31. Abolish superannuation, let people keep and invest their money how they please. Your attempts to force saving are having counter productive impacts and have merely generated a cottage industry of superannuation and financial planning scammers.
32. Things I'd like from the super system:
1) $5,000 put away when a child is born with a 7% real return for 70 years is $569k. Everything that stops people benefiting compounding in this way should be removed from the super system.
2) There were about 320k births in Australia in 2017. So for 320,000k * 5k or just 1.6B!!!, we could ensure everyone born in Australia received 569k upon reaching 70. Even better, they wouldn't have to make compulsory contributions that cost them and the Budget for the rest of their lives.
3) I'd like to be able to contribute money to my child's account as soon as they are born. I know their grandparents would too.
4) There should be a basic off the shelf SMSF structure, that is cheap to set up (<$200) and administer (<$50 pa). It shouldn't be harder to set up a SMSF than it is to register a business or set up a mobile phone contract. With such a structure, I'd much prefer to invest in the many index funds that offer fees of 0.04-0.10 pa.
5) If the taxation of super accounts complicates either of the above goals, then the taxation of them should be changed. Making it harder for small contributions upon the birth of a child, and then having people pay 0.5-1% more pa than they need to, ends up costing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in lower retirement balances. This is not good enough.
6) Super should be 100% tax free but with a balance cap of around $600k-800k. This would dramatically simplify the system. $800,000 is around twice the actuarial value of the full pension. Once you reach the cap, compulsory contributions cease, or you can redirect them to your spouse or children's accounts.
33. How is it possible that the fees attached to managing superannuation accounts in Australia are so high in comparison to other countries? And why does there need to be 40,000 different accounts to choose from? The issue of multiple accounts for workers is a disgrace that needs to be fixed immediately.
34. My son worked short term and I'm sure in some accounts whatever was put away on his behalf evaporated through Management & insurance fees.
Perhaps for small accounts fund managers should only be allowed to take fees and charges from earnings and not the principle. Maybe only from a percentage of the earnings so that the account can never go backwards. Its about making savings for retirement not lining managers pockets.
35. Why do I have to rely on comparison websites to judge my account against others? Isn't that just another rent-seeker looking to profit from the Byzantine labyrinth of the current Super system? Why can't the Government collect and report on Super performance? I think my fund is well performed, but it's very hard to compare and trust the information used in the comparison.
36. I've put $27800 into my super over 20 months. Despite this my balance is $23500. No where in any statements can I see why my balance is going down. Is it fees? Bad investments? Who knows? I've requested multiple call backs but have had none. I'd leave but I'm told big exit fees.
37. There was a Macquarie product that permitted you to lock in gains at various slabs through insurance protection. Couldn't something like this be used to protect one's hard earned nest egg, make people less reliant on pension and afford them some peace of mind? With the GFC's impact still borne by many and financial contagion threats popping up from time to time, I think something like this be actively explored right away.
38. At the moment my super is with Asgard , and not happy where it is , and looking at a much better super fund i can move to. Am interested in trying to find the best performance fund between Unisuper and Goldman Sachs & JB Were Super Fund which would take in fees and charges also?
39. Hi, I really hope that these recommendations become reality not for my sake as I approaching the end of my accumulation phase of my working life but more for my children and theirs and for the economy as a whole as I believe that it will provide for more money to be reinvested but also as it was originally designed the superannuation system will better supplement retirement incomes which will give retirees more disposable incomes that will not only and reduce the drain on the economy by reducing government expenditure on pensions but also I.I was typical of those highlighted in the report, started a super fund when I was self employed when it was first introduced by putting $3000pa into a colonial super fund for a few years only to find out that it earned almost no interest ,went to try and roll it over and the exit fees amounted to nearly half of the accumulated sum so stopped contributing and left it there ,now after 30 years the $6000 will mature into $7000 next year, wow!!That put a real sour taste in my mouth about super.In 2000 I was herded into the companies default AMP fund when employed by a company which has given me a return averaging around 5% and have no idea what their fees are, God Knows !Recently went to see a financial advisor who wanted to put me into some other fund that he was associated with.I have just rolled it over into an industry super fund, so it has taken me 30 years to figure this crap out https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/superannuation/2018/05/29/government-lukewarm-productivity-commission-super/ https://www.smh.com.au/national/transformative-the-turnbull-reform-that-should-happen-but-never-will-20180601-p4zivq.html After reading these articles it is so sad to think that the powerful players in the super industry will probably conspire to stop this valuable report from ever becoming a reality another example of our broken democratic system no longer by the people for the people but by the system for the system.
40. I was approached many years ago to put my financial management under [a financial planner] in Melbourne. A superannuation fund was established for myself and over the years I became frustrated in the lack of growth. I have recently collapsed the fund and moved the existing value into an industry fund, Hostplus, which has provided greater growth in 16 months than [the previous fund] did in 15 years. The buy and sell of shares within my [previous] fund provided commission to those conducting the transactions and the annual fees charges by [the financial planner] provided no value to my fund. The financial benefits to my fund did not eventuate over the time they managed it.
41. What I find troubling is that so many top performing industry super funds are sinking so much money into advertising, marketing and sponsorship. Member fees are growing year on year, even though the funds have apparently been performing well. Is this to support their advertising spend? Measures should be put in place to reduce the ad-spend or there should be at the very least transparency of the effectiveness of such advertising in growing awareness and membership numbers.
42. It is very difficult to compare performance and fees across funds. It needs to be enforced that the funds must all publish results in exactly the same format and on a particular day every month, on their landing page. The titles of the investment options should be the same across all funds for easy comparison. When monthly results are published (for the past 12 months) accompanying this should be the applicable fees paid on a hypothetical balance of say $200k and $500k for each investment type so that this can also be compared. The average person gives up. Even comparison sites are confusing because of the titles of the investments and the lack of fee transparency. Thanks
43. COMMENTS, RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INVESTORS AS AN ACTIVE INVESTOR IN SUPER SINCE THE 1990S, I CONSIDER IT IS CRUCIAL FOR INVESTORS TO BE PROVIDED COMPARABLE DATA BETWEEN SUPER FUND ORGANISATIONS. DATA SUCH AS, AT LEAST THE 50% LIST OF TOP INVESTMENT COMPANIES, GOVT BONDS FOR EACH INVESTMENT FUND CHOICE. ALSO AT LEAST THE TOP 50% LIST OF PERCENTAGES OF COUNTRIES FOR EACH INVESTMENT FUND CHOICE. THE LATTER DATA IS QUITE IMPORTANT FOR INVESTORS TO BE AWARE OF WHEN REFLECTING ON MAKING INVESTMENT CHOICE CHANGES. SUPER FUND MANAGERS NEED TO PROVIDE A BROAD RANGE OF FUNDS FROM DEFENSIVE TO HIGH RISK INVESTMENT CHOICES THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO INVESTORS IN RELATION TO MARKET CYCLES UP AND DOWN. INVESTMENT OPTION CHOICES, SUCH AS INTERNATIONAL, AUST SHARES, EUROPEAN, ASIAN AND EMERGING MARKET SHARES. LISTED PROPERTY AND UNLISTED PROPERTY. AUST, INTERNATIONAL, ASIAN AND EMERGING MARKET BONDS. ALSO, QUITE IMPORTANT TO HAVE THE OPTION OF AUST DOLLAR HEDGING FOR EACH OVERSEAS FUND OPTION. AUST, OVERSEAS ETF FUND OPTIONS, INCLUDING AUST, OVERSEAS ENVIRONMENT/ETHICAL FUND INVESTMENT CHOICE OPTIONS.SUPER FUND MANAGERS ALSO NEED TO PROVIDE REAL COMPARABLE RETURNS DATA IN PERCENTAGES THAT EXCLUDES ALL FEES, CHARGES AND ANY TAXATION ON WEBSITES MTHLY IN TERMS OF FINANCIAL YEAR TO DATE, INCLUDING 1 YR, 3 YRS, 5 YRS AND 7 YRS PERIODS.
44. On behalf of my 2 sons, aged 28 & 22 who worked part time whist studying for approx 4 years from age 16 and contributed to the employer superannuation fund.
They both are now living and working in London.
Their super contributions are languishing in the respective Australian employers default funds being eaten away by the management fees and unable to do anything about it ! e.g No mechanism to freeze or temporary store the funds to be free of management fees !
45. I believe that income protection insurance attached to superannuation should be on a strictly opt-in basis. I recently discovered that my wife (unknown to her) has had this insurance purchased for her since 2010, and was informed by an unsolicited letter sent at that time that she either didn't read or didn't understand. This would be common to most recipients I imagine. The cumulative premiums now amount to several thousand dollars.
The fund, AustralianSuper, would have no idea of her income (though an estimate would be possible from superannuation guarantee amounts paid to the same account as premiums were deducted) and in fact guessed an amount about 50% higher than she would able to claim if circumstances required. Of course she would not claim because she did not know she had the insurance.
This situation should not be permitted to continue.
46. Superannuation should be a simple product to enable more citizens to understand what is happening to their savings.
STOP changing things at every opportunity. People make plans and then everything changes and their plans are completely unworkable
47. Make funds better at administration. I have had no end of issues with [my superannuation fund]. The last was their inability to process an inheritance before 30 June even though I did the work of setting up the direct debit from their website. Then when I called to check on 29 June they said it may not even be executed before 30 June. There was a warning it might not be processed after 21 June (hello! how many days does it take?) but I thought that just meant showing in my account. So I told them to cancel it - which they wouldn't do without a signed letter (even though I proved who I was). So I did that and scanned it via email. They then drew the money on 2 JULY! I have requested urgent refund... Haven't heard a peep. This is typical. Their choice options (with shares etc) take 24 hours to process and falls over and you pay extra.... No wonder they look cheap - they are. I don't know how they get the ratings they do... Does your report look into this? Make any recommendations to say funds should really be pretty much as fast as banks are when dealing with our money?
48. Thank you for the review please address the a most important flaw in the system and that is the monthly minimum of $450 gross wages earn before superannuation is payable. No justice for this given intermittent employment arrangements becoming widespread in Australia.
49. My experience with the superannuation system is that it's very confusing and difficult to navigate. I often feel like they make things difficult deliberately, to prevent people from saving money/to maximise their profits. For example, I recently wanted to change my rating - when I signed up I was automatically put in the high risk work category, despite working in a government office and meeting all of the criteria they have listed for low risk on their website. I realised this after a couple of years and went online to try to change my rating (it's significantly more expensive having this rating than a low risk rating). There was no option to do it online - just a form to download and post - not even an email address. I made a complaint to them saying that it's ridiculous to have to post the form in the mail from Darwin to Victoria, which they ignored. I then made another complaint and they gave me an email address I could send the form to. I filled out the form, scanned it and emailed it to them and didn't hear anything from them for two weeks. Frustrated and worried that they were just going to continue to ignore me, I emailed them again saying that I was going to make a complaint to the superannuation tribunal and was switching super funds as a direct result of their poor service. Within 24 hours, someone emailed me and asked me some questions that I'd already answered on the form. I'm so frustrated that I'm looking at other funds but in my experience they're all the same.
50. Firstly, there should have been more action to combat the fee-gouging behaviour of superannuation funds that has been allowed to fester over the past decade by regulatory paralysis and capture. Exit fees must be taken away. Stop charging useless life insurance to young people. Introduce a cheap government-run super fund to compete. Actively stamp out consistently under-performing funds. Improve transparency of fees and performance etc - so hard to navigate on many super fund websites to actually find the PDS! The government should have a website to compare fees + fund performance of all funds.
51. I was a part time female employee who returned to work after staying home to raise my family & worked for 17yrs in retail. I had no choice of Superannuation Fund with EBA nominating REST. I had no problems with their performance until I was made redundant at near 55 years old last year. Thinking I was being proactive contacting them on how I can protect my Super to avoid unnecessary fees & charges resulting in my balance being whittled away by costs; I was advised I could not access it until I was 58. I was referred to financial advise which appeared to be separate from REST. The phone contact and generic questions that were asked left me feeling like nothing achieved & frustrated. On checking my Account online (promoted by REST for ease of access for online statements) some months later I picked up I was being charged for Income Insurance. Surely this would of come up on some report at REST as there were no employer or employee contribution especially as I had advised them of redundancy & asking for advice. When I questioned this with REST and lodged a request for refund of monies lost; I received a reply from Head of Service Delivery that I had been 'sent letters and statements regularly advising of insurance cover & costs with no returned mail' and that I was 'covered for 71 days after redundancy'(that's approx 2 1/3months). I question what is regular; as I receive end of financial year paper updates only & according to my timeline my insurance would of expired mid September.My concern is that as I had told REST when lodging complaint they are a not for profit Superannuation Fund which I thought we're working for me. On contacting them for advice I felt I had hit a wall and given no constructive feedback at all. It is even more concerning the last few years with Government impressing on the public that Super is the only way forward to survive. A real concern at my age with what Super I have.
52. In 2008 I changed my mortgage provider. I asked my Broker to also provide with a superannuation product that included life insurance. He did that and it cost me approx $250 per month with Comminsure. The product is called ‘Total Super Care Plan’. I am self employed and it sounded like a comprehensive plan and it was with the CBA. I thought I was playing it safe with the biggest bank in the country. It has now increased to $650 per month but I thought ‘at least it's going into my Super’. Due to the publicity around this Commission of Enquiry, last month I rang Comminsure to see how much Super I have. I was told someone will call me back. Two days later I was contacted by a Company I have never heard of (Freedom Finance). They informed me that they hold me policy and I don't have any Superannuation just life insurance. They then sent me reams of paperwork I don't understand. I don't know where I am to go from here. I am 54 years of age with next to no Super. I have paid approx $60,000 to Comminsure over the past 10 years with nothing to show for it. I am concerned that when I tell the ATO they may take action against me as I have been telling them I have a Super policy with Comminsure and claiming the payments I have made. How can a product called ‘Total Super Plan’ have no superannuation component. I don't know where to go to see what has been done to me. I am shattered by this loss.
53. Please review the BT Financial Group Superannuation Scheme (and what a scheme it is!) as part of this enquiry. They deducted money from my salary long after I was not a sole trader, without my permission. Although no contributions from salary were being deposited into my BT Super account they continue to deduct their exorbitant fees. As a result my entire $5000 contribution for that period was stolen by BT. Balance $100. When I complained they laughed and said no one had told them they should not deduct super from my account, when it was clear that there was no salary being put into the account. They target specifically the high salaried people that work for mining and gas companies who are usually foreigners that do not understand the Superannuation in Australia. They pretend you don't have a choice but go with them. They do not show their charges on the payment slip so you are not aware of the exorbitant charges. They had the nerve to send me a letter saying they would transfer my balance ($100!!) to another company that is part of the group!! Thank you
55. It seems that misleading comparisons are not uncommon. Unisuper recently reduced their fees (I wonder if it had anything to do with current scrutiny...). When they communicated this, they compared their fees to those of other funds. I queried the comparison I wondered if they were (at the time) comparing their future fees with current or past fees from the other organisations. It was unclear to me from their communication as to the exact basis for comparison. Their response to my query is below. It does indeed seem that they compared their fees effective October 2018 with other funds fees as at June 2017. Perhaps there needs to be guidance about properly comparing like with like:_________________________________
Dear [Name deleted]
Thank you for your patience whilst we reviewed your enquiry.
We confirm that the information used by Chant West to compare each fund was sourced from the each fund’s PDS that had an effective date of 31 May 2018. Investment fees and costs included in those booklets would have had an effective date of the previous financial year - which was 30 June 2017 - which is standard across the industry.
In this table we’re comparing our new fees that will become effective on 1 October, so given that was some time in the future, Chant West could only use the information they had at hand as at 31 May 2018.
If you have any further queries or would like further clarification on any information I have provided, please contact me directly via reply email. Alternatively for more immediate help, you can contact us on 1800 331 685.
Member Services Consultant
UniSuper Management Pty Ltd
56. To whom it may concern,
As an intermittent casual worker who sporadically contributes to super, I have found that my super account is usually in steady decline. This is because the fees outweigh the investment return. Sometimes the fees are in addition to the investment loss sustained that year. I would be financially much better off just having the money in the bank earning interest for the last five years.
59. I took out a Comminsure Total Super Care Plan 10 years ago. It was an addition to my Home Loan. I am self-employed and I specifically asked for a Superannuation Plan that also provided me Life Insurance. It was costing me $650 per month. Two months ago I inquired how much Superannuation I now have. I was told I have no Superannuation only Life Insurance. It was explained to me that my Policy had been on-sold several times and that my Total Super Care Plan only provided Life Insurance. I strongly disputed this but I have no avenue I know of to challenge my Providor's statement. I have paid approx $60000 and at 54 years of age I have no Superannuation and little means or expertise to try and fight my Providor. I expect I have also unknowingly defrauded the ATO as I have claimed my inputs as Superannuation.
[T]he repercussions for my wife and I are devastating and will likely make our old age miserable shorten our lives.
Superannuation industry workers (2)
1. I wish to rectify some assumptions made about the returns available to all investors and some capital market deficiencies in Australia compared to RoW.
1) The argument that below median returns can be ameliorated without any impact on returns elsewhere is spurious (page 56). If the below median return schemes had instead invested in other assets and improved their return, this would have reduced returns elsewhere bringing down the returns of the 'outperforming' funds. The return available in aggregate is that from the capital markets less reasonable costs. The spread of return from funds with similar risk profiles and members should be your concern
2) Risk or volatility of return needs to be compared as part of the 'value for money' proposition. A 6% pa return with limited risk exposure is better than a 9% pa return with enormous risk. The Superannuation and fund management industry is far too heavily reliant on 'hot returns’ as its proposition.
3) The overhead or cost burden is increased by regulation - there is too much already. It is likely that this is the biggest source of 'under performance'.
4) Australian capital markets are inadequate for a retiree savings pool. The domestic equity market is too narrow and the fixed income market dominated by financial sector issuance. While global equities have thankfully increased in importance as an allocation, a low interest zero tax bond market (like the USA muni market) would provide more and safer options for income than endless bank hybrids.
5) Infrastructure and other illiquid assets may be attractive but are much riskier than is commonly perceived. Risk is not changes in asset price. Many funds have returns which have low volatility but high risk.
2. Maybe it is high time to revisit all those now closed government pension schemes and reopen these - such as DFRDB, SASS, PSS, SERB to name a few.......No investment risk, retirement needs of members are met and minimal fees. Furthermore, they can be naturally integrated into the social security system and age pension.
1. The minimum superannuation pension payment (5% for a retiree aged 65 years and increasing with age) is too high and should be reduced. My super fund currently earns only about 2.8% so this is forcing me to reduce my super savings (which took a lifetime to accumulate after taxes and fees) prematurely and reduces my ability to fund my future and longevity. Also, the Centrelink deeming rates for the aged pension and part pensions are much too high in the current low rate environment with real returns of only about 1.9%. These two issues show that the Federal Govt is not realistic about the difficulty of generating investment income in retirement in the current low return environment. It is not the fault of retirees if the RBA is deliberately using financial repression to keep rates artificially low to protect exporters and housing investors.
2. This comment refers to the services of a well-known firm in Australia (privately-owned, unlisted) which offers financial advice, especially for the management of self-managed superannuation funds.
I was client with the firm for around 15 years. I have now ceased to be a client.
My experience suggests that there needs to be more attention to the performance of firms in the financial services advice sector. As I see it, the performance of this well-known firm is unsatisfactory in the following respects.
(1) It is vertically integrated; it both provides advice but also (increasingly) has been developing its own investment products which it encourages its clients to invest in. This would seem to be a clear conflict of interest.
(2) Its services are sometimes very haphazard; on two separate occasions, it provided me with advice which I chose to set aside. Nevertheless, the firm proceeded (without my approval) to implement its own recommendations and sell my shares. The firm later bought the shares back again to compensate me but I made a loss on the arrangement.
(3) It charges an annual fee at the beginning of the year -- thus (in effect) borrowing from clients.
(4) It is high cost in various ways; one example of this is the series of large high-profile advertisements in the media that is part of the firm’s intensive publicity campaign.
(5) A number of its advertising claims verge towards misleading advertising; the firm regularly makes special offers which are said to be due to end after a month but which, in fact, have been renewed each month for many years.
Each, or several of these issues, might perhaps be regarded as an acceptable part of normal commercial market-oriented practice. But taken together, the overall performance of this firm, as I see it, verges on the unprofessional.
3. The Productivity Commission (PC) has already identified in its draft, areas of inefficiency and the non-competitive nature of banks and other for-profit entities duplicating offerings with high fees resulting in reduced comparative final pensions at retirement to say, an industry fund. I will call those with super accounts, super investors (SI).
There are two main problems poor portfolio selection, and the structure of the superannuation system itself.
For the latter, there are barriers to moving part or all of an existing holding to another ATO account or dividing it over existing or new accounts. Typically a rollover by an SI requires starting a new account with loss of any prior advantages, or the imposition of exit fees. The PC needs to recommend maximum flexibility in re-arranging accounts to account holders preferences. Exit fees should be illegal. Retail fund bonuses for selling accounts should be illegal. There should be no out-performance fees, just a fee for exceeding standard benchmarks by a small margin.
Addressing portfolio selection to improve performance, and efficiency in the eyes of SIs: The Future Fund should be opened to the public as a mirrored closed end LIC fund with annual opportunity to SIs to buy in at NTA. Super accounts range of allowed investments should be narrowed to reduce risk. No leveraging, or borrowing, no naked shorts, no derivatives such as RMBS. The PC should examine the findings of Haugen & Baker, Case closed. Superannuation investment should be low risk.
All existing open ended funds and trusts should be enabled to roll into a LIC, and in future only direct purchase of shares or LICs should be allowed for SIs (including LICs aligned to residential property). Such LICs fees should have an upper limit on direct and indirect fees according to investment category benchmarks as being suitable or not for SIs.
4. I am a recent retiree, and I receive a pension from Unisuper, one of the biggest, highest ranked and best performed industry funds. My experience is that this particular fund is the goose that provides me with golden eggs, and I feel like I've won the jackpot. If this is the price of having directors composed of employers and union representatives, then I'm delighted to live with that. The absolute last thing that I want is for government, any one, but this one in particular, to get their filthy hands into my industry super fund. Just the thought of my fund being invaded by banks, AMP, retail funds and/or ‘independent’ directors outrages me. If the government starts interfering with my golden goose, the only foreseeable outcome is that we'll all end up being goosed! From where I'm sitting, the only way is down, and the only way for that to happen is for government to interfere. Leave (more than) well enough alone! Please note that I've restrained my language considerably about the obvious government anti-union agenda that's going on here.
5. Interesting when discussing insurances and super funds for young people in employment. Only industry funds pretty much provide life insurance, total permanent disability insurance, income protection etc in these work funds. Any bank super acquired is generally to accept payments, lump sum etc. Rarely if ever will you find insurances in these funds. People with lots of different funds would find that 95% would be invested with industry funds provided for each employment undertaken, most with what you call wasted insurance premiums. All people should get advice on insurance at different stages of their lives.
6. In April 2017 I received advice that the University of Wollongong had underpaid me $79.35 in superannuation (plus interest of $54.23). The letter indicated that that the underpayments (and overpayments) occurred from July 2009 and affected current and previous employees and that I should contact the ATO about the money. I did and the ATO said they had not received it yet from the university. In August 2017 I contacted the UOW again and was told the money had been transferred and that the ATO would contact me in due course to obtain current information as to where to place this money, as my Unisuper account was closed by the fund due to inactivity. I was only working casually at the university and lost much of the amount in the account due to fees. The ATO did not contact me at any stage; I had to contact them. The sum of money is small in my case, but I do hope the other people involved have had more success than I in recovering the sums they are owed. Advice from the ATO and the UOW as to how to recover the money and whether the money had been received by the tax office was contradictory e.g. We have $79.66 in your name but no interest from the ATO; We have transferred all the money from UOW. I made many phone calls to the university and the ATO over a period of time. Finally, on April 11th 2018, after another round of phone calls, I filled in a recommended ATO form, attached the original letter from the university, indicated the account into which I would like the money deposited and posted it to the Albury address advised. I have heard nothing since. My experience as a casual employee of losing superannuation funds due to inactivity and excessive fees is thankfully being revealed in the dealings of the Banking Royal Commission. My brief submission is to highlight that even when you are told there is superannuation money owing to you to collect, getting it back is no easy task.
7. Why can’t the ATO or the government PUBLICLY publish in the media the names of all people that have multiple super accounts. These people would then have to apply to the ATO and prove their identity.
Currently, people have to apply to the ATO first which is a massive disincentive.
Most people find the task of finding out and combining accounts too hard. I have help many relatives to do this.
8. Pleased to see the great work the Commission us doing in this. I am a long standing and reasonably happy member of Australian Super. Now in allocated pension phase. One thing has annoyed me for years: why do they charge $35.00 for a lump sum withdrawal? Seems like gouging to me.
9. I ceased work with the Aust. Govt in Feb 2017. I converted my PS Scheme account into a pension fund. In Sep 2017, I was contracted by ACT Govt for two days, paid gross of $369 (no tax or super deducted) based at ASO2 casual rate. I was also paid $38.75 as a ‘Super guarantee SG and award contribution’. With no accumulation super acct, I elected for this to be paid to the ACT Govt super fund.
I was not paid until Dec. I had not received any correspondence from fund until their email of 4 Dec 2017 inviting me to a retirement seminar in Canberra. On 5 Dec, I contacted fund and was told:
a. the amount had dropped to $32.94 due to Federal Govt 15% tax
b. there would be around a $35 admin fee to withdraw the funds
c. if I left funds in account, there would be a $52 annual admin fee!
These would leave me with a debt of $2.06 if I withdrew the funds, or at the end of 12 months, a debt of $19.06.
I also received a letter from fund of 5 Dec 2017, advising that insurance had been activated starting from 5 September 2017. And this was going to be a monthly premium of $20.94! So after three months my account would have been debited $62.82, or would have been cancelled had there been insufficient funds in my account. But I had the option of withdrawing from this insurance by contacting FS, which I did, so no fees were paid for insurance.
On 6 Dec 2017, I lodged a complaint with the fund who replied on 15 Dec 2017; they agreed to payout me SG contribution with no exit fee. This letter stated that Super welcome letter together with the Member Booklet - Product Disclosure Statement was emailed to me on 28 Nov 2017. I did not receive this email. In their letter of 5 Jan 18, they advised they had paid me $28.19 which was determined as follows:
a. Super Guarantee contribution $38.75
b. plus investment earnings $0.14
c. less Tax $5.81
d. less Direct fee (net of tax)$4.89
e. pay out $28.19
If you do casual work check that you are not paying insurance & put funds into 1 acct
10. I have a query about how you can compare the returns of the various super/pension funds when the members of these funds could have a different accumulative risk profile.
Assume conservative funds have returned about five percent over the last five years, Australian shares ten percent and unhedged overseas funds eighteen percent.
Funds with younger members should be in higher risk/return funds while those heavy with retirees should be in lower risk/return funds.
Have you considered this when comparing fund returns?
Hope to get a reply.
11. I am fortunate to have a defined benefit pension & industry super pension. To improve the system, get bipartisan support & stop making frequent rule changes. Reduce the number of super funds dramatically, establish a Govt. option (Future Fund as provider). Alternatively, scrap super guarantee & properly fund a more generous age pension for everyone.
12. After 20 years as a financial adviser, mostly independent, I believe that a government-run default super fund is desirable. An expanded/adjunct Future Fund or similar. People would still be able to choose a fund if they wish (or bother).
13. Since 1996 my son has lived in the US since. While working in Sydney in 1991 he was sold an MLC Master Key account which has a balance of some $3000. Over some years we have tried to close the account and withdraw the balance without success. MLC say there is no provision for early withdrawal even though my son and his family are permanently in the US and annual statements show a withdrawal fee of about half the balance. MLC takes about $66 in fees yearly and my son will not reach pension age (55) until 2025. The inactive account is money for old rope for MLC and accounts of this nature need modernising and account holders recompensed.
14. as a pensioner, despite my loyalty of contributing to the ATO tax annually, I am being hammered with NO pensions since the 01.07.2017! I have to withdraw all my Super from SASS and FSS to invest into a townhouse with NO mortgage, and I found out I can't make ends meet in my daily expenses! WITHOUT an earning job, plus no Aged Pensions Card., what use is the SUPER when I can't even contribute under the Cap system. As Pension will be phased out by 2023, is there a future for us as workers now?
15. For approximately 10 years my superannuation paperwork had the names of advisers on it. These advisers were paid fees from my superannuation. I never met or spoke to or communicated with them. I therefore believe that for many years I paid fees for no service. I have requested these fees be refunded to me.
16. The social situation is that many graduates couldn't get their jobs, let aside to say that paying for super, to buy a house, and even set up their own families. And even when they get a job, they have to pay for their HECK FUND.
Should I say the future is gloomy for the millennials.
17. Thank you. Re. Fees: why are many fees charged as a percentage? Presuming that monies are similarly spread, within an option, for each super/pension, then why does it cost twice as much for, say $200,000 as for $100,000? As the funds grow then the charges keep increasing exponentially. I can understand that work is involved adding contributions etc, but twice as much? and if the fund grows to say $400,000, then 4 times as much in investment fees? Surely it is fairer to have a set amount per quantum? This needs to change.
18. Proposals that SMSF's have a minimum balance such as $1M would limit the number of SMSF's because SMSFs could not grow from small balances of less than eg $1M. These proposals would be a good tactic for those seeking to limit SMSFs and force people into retail and industry funds.
19. Hi- the attached email was sent off last week to VISSF without a reply.
Dear [name withheld]
Referring to our telephone conversation on Thursday August 2, 2018, whereby my initial question was based on whether VISSF has evaluated their fee structure in relation to their direct (Industry funds) competitors. Please refer to my previous emails which did ask the same question. During our brief discussion you did state to me that VISSF had not changed its fees over the last number of years. The table below outlines the Fees and Indirect Costs supplied by VISSF in your statements over the last five years. If necessary, I can supply you with the Fees and Indirect Costs paid by me over the last twenty years.
I do have a few basic questions that I would you to address please.
1.If the Fees have not changed over the short term, then why was the percentage of 0.983 (2018), greater than all the previous years?
2.The Indirect Costs are taken out of my investment and the amount is shown on my statement, (not charged as a fee, as this is a different cost).
3.The Fee amount is also shown on my statement, (with an Investment Fee of 0.75% for Growth). Then another 0.41% is added on as an Indirect Cost but hasn’t that already been paid in the Indirect Cost amount as shown on the statement?
[T]o address these questions would you please arrange a meeting time for me to meet with a representative from VCAA.
Fees and indirect costs
1. My 15 year old daughter worked part time in a shop. REST took the $65 balance mostly from insurance. I as her father tried to get them to reverse it but they wouldn't til the money was all gone. I believe it is illegal for minors be charged and the funds should be made to reimburse
2. To whom it may concern.
I have worked in financial markets for 30 years and thus well versed on what are the best funds to invest in.
I have two teenage daughters that part time work while they are at school . I was disappointed that fees were going to eat up my daughters contribution to super for quite a few years .The best fund i found was Host Plus that had a fee of about $68 per year plus a fee of around 1% subject to how it was invested . I believe that contributors under the age of 21 should not be charged a fee as long as they stayed with the fund to the age of 25 ( to be fair to both parties ).My daughters first couple of years super contributions will incur fees that annualise at around 10% per annum or more, which I think is unfair for people beginning the working career . My daughters already feel the system rips them off and that is not what the industry wants to convey nor the government when they want to encourage citizens to save for their retirement.
3. My husband has been working in the car sales industry for 15 years. His super is paid on his base salary nor his commission rate, which is one third of his income, added to this he pays the super guarantee, it is deducted from his salary. He has been in a management role for the last 5 years and earning more commission but still paying his own super. Not sure how this can happen, his super fund is MTAA.
4. From the view of many young individuals looking at the system as it is, the superannuation system has proven itself to be fickle - privatising our super was a mistake, and for the sake of our future it should be nationalised.
5. Dear Commissioners
With all due respect, your proposed solution is flawed. Past performance does not guarantee future performance; yet your choice options offered to new entrants are predicated on the implicit assumption that a fund that has historically performed well will continue to do so. Your proposed approach is effective for defined benefit designs, but is problematic for defined contribution schemes.
Rather, a better solution is a one account at outset, investment management subject to periodic assessment; if the manager is not delivering to their mandate, the manager is replaced. Obviously, the question here is around who administers the account; the ATO could be given this task without the cost overlay of a trustee. Even better, a design that seamlessly interacts with the aged pension system would be even better.
Should the alternative design proposed prove too radical, the implicit costs associated with transferring between funds need to be addressed - changing trustee results in capital gains tax deducted from the exiting member's accumulated balance.
In any event, addressing design issues won’t alter the reality that the defined contribution model does not provide for the certainty of income stream in retirement; private providers can’t cost effectively underwrite longevity risk. Time to consider a model that integrates private and public pensions; given the aged pension already underwrites longevity risk by default.
More radical design changes are required if the system is to serve the purpose intended rather than provide a tax preferred method for accumulating wealth.
6. There is a huge lack of governance around setting up SMSFs. Frequently, I receive offers of the kind ‘Free Setup of Your SMSF’, with various fine print terms that actually show that setup is not really free. Today, for example, I went through the process of setting up a so called free SMSF following an email promotion from https://app.esuperfund.com.au/. While this was free for a period, I noted that $899 way payable in 2020. What is more disturbing, however, is that there was no due diligence about whether I was actually suited to having an SMSF.
Nowhere was I asked about super balances, investment objective etc. Nor was I informed about the role of a Trustee and the resulting fiduciary responsibility. Perhaps this will occur elsewhere (or once the fund is setup). This is highly disturbing, What if I set up an SMSF with tiny balances and no experience or idea about investing. A recipe for disaster..... Note - I'm not going after esuperfund specifically.
They just happened to email me today. I have seen other funds offering similar. More relevant - I am flagging the widespread practice of vested interests, canvasing for the setup of an SMSF without actually assessing that there is a viable case for their target to actually require one.
7. As a young adult, the current superannuation system does not provide for my retirement as it should. Generation Y and Z are in and out of casual/part-time work and study. Any super that I have accumulated whilst working (and then going back to study) has been eaten up by admin fees etc, turning my savings (hundreds of dollars) to zero and then my account being closed.
ASIC says on their website to keep adding to your super, when out of work, in any way you can. That's impossible when you don't have a job/money...
Also, there should be an 'opt in' of life insurance because unknowingly to me when I set up a VicSuper fund, I was automatically paying life insurance without written knowledge.
Any fees should be concession eligible.
I wish, by law I didn't have to have a super account, because my hard earned money just goes to the super company to pay their expenses, not to my future retirement. Having a super account is like being taxed twice after a pay check. Australia's super system needs to adapt to the times.