Professor Ralston resigns as Chair of SMSF Association

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Professor Deborah Ralston has resigned as Chair of the SMSF Association, and stepped down as a Director, following her appointment to the Review of the Retirement Income System panel.

Professor Ralston was appointed Chair of the Association in February last year. Robin Bowerman – Head of Corporate Affairs with Vanguard Investments – has taken over as Chair of the SMSF Association, “effective immediately”. Bowerman has served as Vice Chair for three years and been a member of the Board since 2011.

Following the announcement of her appointment to the review panel last Friday it was reported that Ralston would step down as Chair of the SMSF Association and of the Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System. The SMSF Association has now announced that Ralston resigned as Chair on Friday September 27, and has stepped down as a Director on October 3.

Following the announcement of the resignation, Ralston said: “Unfortunately I find myself in a position where I feel I must tender my resignation as Chair and a Director of the SMSF Association. It has been a privilege to work with my fellow directors, the executive, and the members, all of whom are dedicated to ensuring Australians enjoy a secure retirement.”

The appointment of Ralston to the review panel has been criticised by industry super and the Labor party, due to a submission by the Alliance recommending the panel consider making super voluntary and the campaign against Labor’s franking credit policy. The Government has defended the appointment of Ralston to the review panel, including Treasurer Frydenberg telling industry super to “stop lecturing the Government”.

Bowerman said: “I am very honored that my fellow directors have asked me to succeed Deborah as Chair. Although we are all greatly disappointed at losing Deborah before the end of her term, we totally appreciate why she has chosen to resign and wish her all the best in this new important role.”

“She has provided the Association with sound leadership at a difficult time for the industry, and I know I speak for all members when I say her contribution has been greatly valued.”

Andrew Hamilton, who has previously been Chair of the SMSF Association, has been appointed as Vice Chair.

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