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Tuesday, 25 March 1997
Page: 2347

Senator ALLISON(12.56 p.m.) —I rise to indicate that the Democrats will support the opposition's amendments 1 and 4. They are, as Senator Sherry has indicated, almost identical to our amendments 1 and 2.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —So do you withdraw amendments 1 and 2?

Senator ALLISON —Yes. As Senator Sherry has indicated, they will allow superannuation funds to offer RSAs. If the government is interested in a fully competitive superannuation scene, then this ought to be made available to superannuation funds along with banks, credit unions, insurance companies and the like.

I draw the committee's attention to the report of the Senate Select Committee on Superannuation, which says that several witnesses and submitters argued that existing superannuation trustees should be able to offer RSAs

and, indeed, be able to use the term `RSA' as a product description. It says that the Investment Funds of Australia argued that there was no difference between an RSA and a cash based superannuation fund. They submitted that super funds trustees should `have access to the simpler and cheaper structure that is being proposed for RSAs' and that this was a very important aspect of competitive neutrality. ASFA also argued that to do otherwise would confuse consumers and provide RSA institutions with an unfair competitive advantage. The Democrats were certainly persuaded by those arguments put during the hearing on this subject.