Industry super pays millions to ALP associated entities

Industry superannuation funds paid about 2.2% of all funds to political associated entities in the 2015-16 financial year.

Figures released by the Australian Electoral Commission show that industry super funds paid more than $4.8 million to associated entities of the Australian Labor Party.

These payments were, however, not donations but payments that the AEC defined as " 'other receipts' [that may be] interest on investments, dividends on shares, market rate rent received on properties owned".

They may also include payments for contracted distribution services and arrangements on commercial terms.

Of the largest top 20 industry super funds (by assets), HOSTPLUS made the largest payment in 2015-16 being more than $850,000 to United Voice, an ALP associated entity. HOSTPLUS was followed by CBUS ($628,829) and AustralianSuper ($553,869).

Parties and associated entities are required to provide details on receipts from all sources where the total is above $13,000. The data published by the AEC includes all receipts (whether labelled as a 'donation' or not) reported by associated entities.

These payments may also include super fund director fees passed to the associated entities.

Due to the nature of AEC reporting, it is unclear whether retail superannuation funds made any political donations - especially bank aligned super funds.

The full list of payments and donations can be found on the AEC website.

* This article has been amended. It was originally published as Industry super donates millions to ALP associated entities. This was incorrect as it inferred some payments to ALP associated entities were donations rather than 'other receipts' as classified by the AEC.

Read more: Australian Electoral CommissionAustralian Labor Party
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