Almost $1 trillion of assets held by Australia’s fifty largest superannuation funds are undisclosed, according to analysis by environmental campaigners Market Forces.
This equates to 83% of assets held by these funds being undisclosed, though there is considerable variation between funds. On average the fifty funds disclose only 16.6% of their portfolio, with 19 funds disclosing 0%. Of the fifty super funds Market Forces found only Energy Super discloses its entire portfolio. Three other funds disclose over 50% of their portfolio: HOSTPlus, Cbus and VicSuper.
But 86% of Australians think super fund members should have the right to know where their superannuation is invested, according to polling commissioned by Market Forces and conducted by Essential Research.
“Several of the fund managers, including BT, Colonial and Macquarie operate ‘Wrap’ platforms – which may explain some of the secrecy – yet even their default options are not disclosed,” said Market Forces.
The organisation points to the 2010 Cooper Review, which recommended complete portfolio holdings disclosure on a six-monthly basis.
“Perhaps cynically, the super industry itself has lobbied to delay the disclosure of portfolio holdings, as recently as April this year. Providing a myriad of reason why their members couldn’t meet the 1 July 2016 deadline, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) successfully lobbied to delay mandatory disclosure until 1 July 2017.”
Market Forces analyst Daniel Gocher said: “Though the industry claims to support the improvement of disclosure standards, the reality shows this is manifestly not the case.”
“Australians have a right to know where our money is invested and transparency is a vital first step to enabling it to be used as a force for good.”