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Advice to super fund members on long-term performance.



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Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law http://minscl.treasurer.gov.au

PRESS RELEASE

NO. 35

ADVICE TO SUPER FUND MEMBERS ON LONG-TERM PERFORMANCE

Senator the Hon Nick Sherry, Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, has welcomed the release of two Australian Securities and Investments Commission initiatives to help superannuation funds provide better information to their members.

ASIC last week issued a best practice guide (Superannuation: helping investors look at longer-term returns - ASIC's best practice guide) on how super funds can provide their members with a long-term picture of investment returns. In it, super funds are encouraged to work towards providing personalised historical fund returns over five and 10-year periods with annual statements.

Until now, super funds have been required to provide information about their performance over the previous five years with their annual reports. Providing this detail with periodic member statements means members will get information in a way that is tailored to their individual needs and that they are more likely to read.

“I recently met with ASIC and voiced my concerns over how funds were reporting returns. This initiative also follows on from the work of the Rudd Government's Superannuation Advisory Group which concluded fund members would benefit from long-term fund reporting measures.”

“Super is a long-term investment so educating members to consider the long-term picture is critical. Even if a fund has produced a negative return in certain years, it may still be a sound investment which produces strong returns overall,” Minister Sherry said.

“ASIC has also produced a short consumer guide detailing why the long-term performance of a super fund is important, which I would encourage super funds to provide to their members with the periodic statement,” Minister Sherry said.

ASIC has also released a proposal that super funds be able to publish their annual reports on their website. Funds will have to meet certain conditions, such as notifying members that a copy can still be posted.

“This is a great development as it provides members with a choice about how they receive their fund's annual report, is environmentally friendly, and delivers potential cost savings to funds and fund members.” More information is available from www.asic.gov.au.

CANBERRA 22 June, 2008

Contact: Anna Fenech: 0417 454 811