So, this week it was revealed that South Australian workers have been underpaid an estimated $283M in super in the 2019FY: Nestegg, 18.1.22, Jon Bragg, “Unpaid super deals a $283m blow to SA workers.”

Last week, it was QLD workers who had been ripped off to the tune of $940M in super in the 2019FY: Accountants Daily, Emma Ryan 12.1.22, “ATO urged to address ‘Super rip-off’ impacting Qld workers.”

Earlier this week, the credit Union Building Societies (CUBS) Superfund became the latest big retail fund to announce that it would wind up in March of 22. This announcement was triggered by the introduction of some very basic, low bar performance hurdles by APRA which kicked in as from 1.7.21.

Why all the carnage in the Australian superannuation system? Why does the industry seem to lurch from one disaster to the next on a seemingly constant ‘hamster wheel’ like cycle?

One answer is apathy; a lack of interest, concern or energy.

Specifically in the retail superannuation context, an employer makes (or forgets to make) quarterly super payments to an employee’s choice of fund. The employee never sees the cash – it is jettisoned off into some Orwellian memory hole and never re-materialises in a meaningful way. The employee lacks the skills or the time (or both) to actually understand if the correct amount of super was ever paid in, let alone to assess how the cash paid in is performing in the selected investment option. Corruption breeds in this dark pit and is periodically dragged out into the light of day – sometimes by a regulator, occasionally via Royal Commission. It will continue.

Is there a way to stop this from occurring?

From an economy wide perspective, apathy will continue to pervade retail super. On a member-by-member basis however, the good news is, self-managed superfunds automatically combat apathy in the retirement savings space – but only for members who actively choose this path. Specifically, SMSF trustees are forced to be involved with their super from the point of payment in from the employer right the way through to assessment of investment returns. This is because the cash paid in actually hits a cash bank account which the SMSF member trustee must then invest. By forcing a member to take active personal responsibility for their own retirement outcomes, a SMSF is the perfect vehicle to rectify much of what is terribly wrong with the current superannuation system in Australia. The key with a SMSF is for the member to locate and engage with a SMSF professional who is compatible with them and operates on a low cost, fee for service, client focused set of beliefs – that’s where Solve comes in.

Reach out to Chris Bloxham at Solve on 0414 985 724 or email to discuss your super anytime.