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Super rules makes comparing fees ‘almost impossible’

Industry Super Australia, ISA, David Whiteley, Superannuation, super fees, retirement savings

New regulation could ‘bamboozle’ Australians trying to compare funds and make it more difficult to assess individual funds’ overall costs, an industry lobby group has argued.

New disclosure requirements for superannuation funds will come into effect on 1 October 2017, but lobby group Industry Super Australia has said a number of “inexplicable carve-outs” to the regulations will exclude investments made via platforms – the “preferred” method of bank-owned super funds.

“These carve outs make it almost impossible to achieve consistent and accurate fee and cost disclosure, denying investors the opportunity to accurately compare the products available to them and determine whether a particular product represents value for money,” the group said in a statement.

“Not only will this bamboozle consumers it could, if not fixed, change investment strategies of funds resulting in less direct illiquid investments, and ultimately lower returns to members.”

David Whiteley, the group’s CEO, said that a “light must be shone” on the fees and costs associated with super funds to allow members to compare them and make an informed choice, something he argues the new regulation will make more difficult.

“In its current form, [the new regulation] will create perverse incentives for super funds to change the way they invest, using the carve outs to hide costs,” he said.

“This could negatively impact both member returns and the capacity of Australian super funds to invest in long-term, nation-building infrastructure projects.”

Industry Super Australia said it wants government to delay the implementation of the new regulation until it reverses the exemptions and can “guarantee full disclosure” of superannuation fees.

Super rules makes comparing fees ‘almost impossible’
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