Michael Pascoe

Alan Kohler is asking some pertinent
in the Smage about all the
fees that super funds end up paying as the rush by financial engineers to buy
infrastructure assets gathers pace – but don’t expect Senator Grant Chapman’s
parliamentary inquiry into “the structure and operation of the superannuation
industry” to take any interest.

Chapman’s fishing expedition is a most
curious beast that has alarm bells ringing among industry funds who fear the
government is out to nobble them despite or perhaps even because of their
success. Most of the industry funds have not only succeeded admirably in
serving their members with good returns and low costs, they’ve also played a
role in partially keeping the other bastards honest by applying squeeze to

The SMH‘s Simon Hoyle has nicely covered
the issues about the inquiry and now the concerns expressed there have
been prodded along by country’s best-performed super fund, MTAA Super – and
it’s not even in bed with a union.

MTAA (the Motor Traders’) Super is an
employer-sponsored animal but as an industry fund, it’s a fellow traveller with
those pinko unionists. MTAA has just topped the performance charts for the
fifth year in a row and that was the excuse for Eureka Report’s interview
with managing director, Michael Delaney.

“The reason that the Inquiry looks odd to us is because there might seem
to be some of the old ideological battles sitting behind it about whether
anyone ought to be doing this thing other than your long standing insurers and
bankers,” Delaney said of the inquiry.

A cynical
soul might wonder if the political right wing is trying to look after its
ideological and financial mates. If Senator Chapman’s inquiry has any
integrity, it would be concentrating on structural corrupt fees, vertical
integration of the industry and what the best form of taxation would really be
– but it won’t.