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Thursday, 3 May 1973
Page: 1742

Mr Wallis asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1)   Has the Government given any further consideration to the suggested alterations to the Superannuation Fund, as contained in the last actuarial investigation of that Fund, wherein it was suggested that the present unit purchase scheme be replaced by a scheme whereby a contributor would pay into the Fund a percentage of his wage or salary during his working life.

(2)   Has consideration been given to the present surplus in the Fund and how this amount will bo used for the benefit of contributors.

Mr Crean - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   In his Report on the Ninth Quinquennial Investigation of the Superannuation Fund covering the period of 5 years ending 30th June 1967, which was tabled in the Parliament on 8th March 1972, the Commonwealth Actuary recommended a conversion from the present unit purchase pension scheme to a new superannuation arrangement based on percentage of salary rates of contribution. This proposal by the Commonwealth Actuary, as well as a new scheme proposed by the Council of Commonwealth Public Service Organisations and other suggestions for change received from employee and pensioner organisations and individuals, has been examined in die course of a full review of the present Superannuation scheme by my Department. The review will be completed shortly,.

(2)   In the view of the Commonwealth Actuary there was a gross surplus of assets over liabilities of $14,779,000 in the Superannuation Fund as at 30th June 1967. The Actuary considered that this surplus should be applied to facilitate the transfer of existing pensioners and contributors to the new scheme that he proposed and to assist in meeting the cost of new benefits under that scheme. The Superannuation Board also did not favour a cash distribution of the surplus. The Board concluded that the balance of advantage to members would lie in applying the surplus assets at 30th June 1967 to the payment of selected additional benefits under the proposed percentage of salary contribution scheme or the present scheme. Decisions regarding the disposition of the surplus will be taken in the light of the outcome of the review of the present scheme.

Trade Unions: Representations on Government-created Bodies (Question No. 456)

Mr Lynch asked the Minister for Labour, upon notice:

(1)   Is it his intention to ensure adequate representation of trade unions on boards, commissions, trusts or similar Government-created bodies.

(2)   If so, will he clarify what is meant by adequate representation and what action has been taken to implement his intention.

(3)   Will he indicate what the present level of trade union representation is with respect to the organisations listed in part (1).

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The government has already taken some steps to ensure adequate representation of trade unions on boards, commissions, trusts or similar governmentcreated bodies.

(2)   It is difficult to define what is 'adequate representation' unless one knew the number of persons who constituted the various boards, commissions, trusts, etc., but on a board of, say, 3 members, the appointment of one trade union representative may be considered adequate.

(3)   So far as I can ascertain there is at present a very low level of trade union representation on the bodies referred to in (I) above but the government will rectify this situation as vacancies occur.

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