As many of you may have noticed the Financial Services Royal Commission turned its attention to superannuation over the past month. During this process a number of activities undertaken by providers in the industry were questioned. The commissioner asked participants to justify how various aspects of their Fund’s operations were conducted in the interests of their members. This process has re-iterated that a purely rules based or compliance approach to the activities undertaken by a fund is not enough and that funds need to keep the overarching members’ interest test front of mind.
As a Fund we were not asked to participate in the commission’s hearings, however we continue to closely follow the developments arising from this process. While as an industry fund we always remain singularly focussed on member interests, we are taking the chance to use the Royal Commission and its findings to identify opportunities to further strengthen our operations.
As a fund, Christian Super was created by faith-based employer associations to provide a values-aligned retirement savings vehicle for faithful individuals who are serving in a variety of aligned industry areas and vocations (e.g. Christian Education, Ministry, Missionary work, Aid Work). Christian Super is a profit-for-member industry fund. This means that no entity or individual derives a profit from the running of the Fund, and fees are only charged to cover the costs associated with providing services to members.
While this isn’t in and of itself sufficient protection against decisions being made that are not in members’ interests, what the Royal Commission confirmed is that profit-to-member industry funds like Christian Super are undoubtedly the preferred model to minimise such conflicts. We will continue to closely review Royal Commission findings, and remain committed as a fund to ensuring members interests remain at the heart of everything we do.
Should you have any enquires in relation to the Royal Commission and the Fund’s response, please feel free to make contact with our team.