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Democrats to push for star-rating of super fees and charges.

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DEMOCRATS MEDIA 04/839 WEDNESDAY 1 SEPTEMBER 2004 SENATOR JOHN CHERRY AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS SUPERANNUATION SPOKESPERSON Democrats to push for star-rating of super fees and charges The Australian Democrats have released their five point plan to ensure consumers pay low fees and charges for their superannuation, ahead of the superannuation debate at the National Press Club today. "The Democrats are proposing a five point plan to reduce superannuation fees and to improve their comparability," said Superannuation spokesperson Senator John Cherry. As part of the Democrat negotiations to provide employees with Choice of Super Fund, due to commence on 1 July 2005, the Government committed that the regulatory watchdogs will monitor and report on super fees and charges for at least the next five years. We have seen some of the larger financial institutions recently announce a reduction in their fees. The Democrats will: • lobby for ASIC to develop a five star rating for superannuation and investment products based on their level of fees. A one-star rating could be a high fee product, a five-star could be given to an extremely low fee product; • ensure that monitoring and reporting of super fees and changes is comprehensive; • push for the comprehensive benchmarking of fees and charges across the various superannuation products and investment choices; • monitor the impact of Choice on the superannuation industry. We do not rule out the banning of commissions on compulsory Superannuation Guarantee contributions if it is shown that the financial advisers are not acting in the best interests of their clients; and • push for a Government review the administration and compliance costs incurred by superannuation funds. We will be critical of any unnecessary burdens on the industry such as further excessive 'safety' or prudential requirements. "After some tough years, the superannuation industry is strongly on the rebound. The Democrats are committed to ensuring Australia has the world's best retirement savings system," concluded Senator Cherry. Media Contact - Pam Hose - 0408 752 750