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Tuesday, 6 April 1965

Senator HENDRICKSON (VICTORIA) - I preface my question, which I direct to the Minister representing the Treasurer, by saying that 1 hope that the Minister is as informative in replying to my question as he was to the question asked by Senator Dame Annabelle Rankin. My question relates to the Treasurer's statement in another place on the £6 million surplus in the Commonwealth Superannuation Fund and to my previous questions on this subject. Will the Minister state whether the Auditor-General failed to direct the attention of the Government to this colossal blunder on the part of the Actuary? What steps are being taken to prevent a recurrence of such a serious mistake? Will a further statement be made which will indicate clearly whether or not former contributors to the Fund will receive any moiety of the surplus? What was the point of difference between the members of the Board which is referred to in the Treasurer's statement? Will a statement be prepared showing the total assets of the Fund in 1930, 1940, 1950 and 1960? Are the figures in the Commonwealth "Year Book " correct in recording that the assets of the Fund rose from £14 million in 1945-46 to nearly £100 million in 1960? Doss this imply that during the 15 years contributors significantly were responsible for the huge surplus now disclosed? If former contributors are to participate, will the Government favourably consider increasing the widow's rate from five-eighths to five-sixths, without effect upon any social service payments which widows might be receiving?

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