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The Fraser Governance Review

In December 2015 the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) and Industry Super Australia (ISA) asked Bernie Fraser to lead a review of governance arrangements in respect of profit-to-member superannuation funds and to propose a best practice Governance Code for such funds.

Since that time Mr Fraser has engaged in an extensive consultation process with representatives of the industry superannuation funds and their union and employer sponsoring organisations, regulators, international experts, Senate cross-benchers and other parliamentarians.

You can read about the scope of the review or view submissions to the review here. 

On February 16, 2017 Bernie Fraser released his final report

The review found profit-to-member superfunds’ governance model and member-first ethos is central to their persistent outperformance and avoidance of scandals affecting other parts of the finance sector.

The review also found that the Government has not adequately made the case for a mandatory quota of independent directors and members’ interests will be better served through a focus on directors’ values, skills and expertise.

To this end Mr Fraser has recommended Australia’s profit to member superannuation funds prioritise values, skills and expertise in a mandatory principles-based governance code to commence on 1 July 2017.

Such a code has been developed separately by AIST but in tandem with the Fraser review following a commitment made by AIST and Industry Super Australia to the Australian Senate. A draft of this code was circulated to all AIST members in February 2017 for feedback and consultation with the view to the code having a start date of 1, July 2017. 

For more information contact AIST’s Executive Manager, Governance & Stewardship at escheerlinck@aist.asn.au or call the AIST office on 03 8677 3800.