The suspicions held about industry superannuation by Federal Government back-benchers have again been laid bare, with AustralianSuper finding itself forced to deny that it provided any other industry fund with “secretariat” service to help them respond to questions from a Parliamentary Committee.
The chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Tim Wilson has not only asked AustralianSuper about providing liquidity to hard-pressed funds such as REST and HostPlus, he has also asked AustralianSuper about other forms of support to other superannuation funds.
In a question on notice, Wilson stated: It has been brought to my attention that AustralianSuper is providing secretariat, or secretariat-like, services to assist other superannuation funds to respond and answer questions for the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Economics Inquiry into the big four banks and other financial institutions. Can you therefore advise:
- On what basis AustralianSuper is providing this assistance to other superannuation funds?
- The number of staff allocated to provide this support?
- The estimated cost allocated to provide this support?
- How this is consistent with the sole purpose test for AustralianSuper members?
The answer provided by AustralianSuper was succinct: “AustralianSuper is not providing secretariat, or secretariat-like, services to assist other superannuation funds”.
The superannuation fund, along with many other major funds which had received letters from Wilson as chair of the committee, also denied that it provided liquidity or loans to REST, Hostplus or any other superannuation funds.