Productivity Commission report puts banks first: ACTU

The Australian Council of Trade Unions said removing superannuation from industrial relations is "completely unacceptable"

In a media release on Thursday the ACTU called out the final report's recommendation to install a best-in-show list of superannuation funds, which would work to remove superannuation from industrial relations by nudging new workforce entrants towards selecting a superannuation fund from a list of 10 top performing funds.

According to the ACTU the change would block working people from being represented in superannuation, and deliver power to the industry regulators - who it said had demonstrated themselves to be ineffective in protecting working people from banks during their appearances before the Royal Commission last year.

The organisation also said the report vindicated the position of the union movement that banks have no place in superannuation "due to their systemic under-performance."

"Any system which is geared towards promoting the best performing funds would promote industry funds which have year after year outperformed all bank-owned funds, simply because they are run to enhance the retirement savings of their members, not the share price of the big banks," the ACTU said.

It added the performance of not-for-profit industry funds was a testament to their governance structure and said any attempt to dismantle such a "world-class" model would inevitably damage the performance of those funds.

ACTU president and AustralianSuper alternate director Michele O'Neil said workers should always be represented in the superannuation system, and suggested future changes to super should involve expansion to ensure it covers all workers, specifying women and young people.

"The proposed changes are all about giving more power to the big banks and have nothing to do with making sure more working people have a secure and comfortable retirement," O'Neil said.

"If the government was really concerned about ensuring that all workers had access to insurance and other products through super they would support the ALP amendments to the My Super bill currently before the parliament."

Read more: ACTUAustralian Council of TradeMichele O'NeilALPAustralianSuperMy SuperProductivity CommissionRoyal CommissionThursday
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