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Invest in superannuation.

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The Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Superannuation, Senator John Watson (LP, Tasmania), has called on the media to report more widely the positive returns achieved by most superannuation funds in 2002/03, rather than focusing on those funds that did not achieve a positive result.

Senator Watson has cited recent figures released by ASFA that up to 70 per cent of working Australians can expect a positive return of between 1.5 per cent and 4 per cent in their 2002/03 superannuation statements.

Senator Watson said: ‘Some recent media reporting has focused on those funds with high overseas equity exposure which experienced negative returns in the last financial year, while ignoring the positive results from many small to medium funds and fixed interest fund, and from many balanced industry, corporate and public sector funds.’

Furthermore, Senator Watson noted that while the performance of superannuation funds here in Australia over the past two years has been disappointing, Australia has not seen some of the devastating results experienced in America, Britain and continental Europe, where funds have experienced exceptionally sharp downturns.

In noting the stronger performance of superannuation funds here in Australia over the past financial year, Senator Watson highlighted the higher governance standards and risk management strategies here in Australia, the strength of the Australian regulatory system, and the responsible role played by many financial advisers.

The continuing strength and resilience of the Australian economy has also been central to the stronger performance of Australian superannuation funds.

For further details, contact:

For comment: Senator John Watson, Chair 03 6331 4544 (Launceston,Tas)

For information: Stephen Frappell, Acting Secretary 02 6277 3533

24 July 2003