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Notice given 22 May 2009

*1595  Senator Cormann: To ask the Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law—With reference to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation online news article of 18 May 2009 ‘Super changes will “only affect a few”‘ that states that the ‘average account balance for a person over age 50 currently contributing more than $50,000 is $890,000’:

(1) What source or sources did the Minister consult to obtain this figure.

(2) Did the Minister obtain advice to verify this figure; if so, from whom; if not, why not.

(3) Can copies be provided of documentation that supports this claim.

Senator Cormann: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos *1596-*1597)—

(1) With reference to the Minister’s repeatedly stated concern about superannuation fees and charges, does the Minister, the Minister’s office or the department actively monitor fee increases in the industry.

(2) Is the Minister aware that one of the major funds nominated as a default fund in many awards announced a 50 per cent increase in fees with effect from 1 January 2009.

(3) Is the Minister concerned about this fee increase.

(4) Is the Minister concerned that Australian workers will be automatically enrolled in this fund without their express consent.

(5) Will the Minister communicate to the Australia Industrial Relations Commission and/or Fair Work Australia: (a) his concern about this cost increase; and (b) that at least four or five funds should be nominated in each modern award to ensure employers have a choice and can avoid funds that inappropriately raise fees; if not, why not.

(6) Has the Minister sought and received any advice from the department about default fund fee increases; if not, why not.

(7) Did the Minister receive advice about default fund fee increases; if so, can a copy of that advice be provided; if not, why not.

*1596 Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

*1597 Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law