14 March 2022
The latest release of superannuation payments data to political organisations underlines the need for law enforcement and further law reform.
According to Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) data, $12.9 million has been paid from super funds to unions in the 2020-21 financial year. This is a new record, up from $11 million in the previous year.
This means super funds have paid $40 million to Labor Party affiliated unions in the past four years. Super funds are becoming the biggest political donors in the country. This is a disgrace.
Worst of all, the super trustees are happy to pay millions of dollars to unions but refuse to pay their own regulatory fines. They’re asking workers to pay these.
CBUS, which is chaired by Labor Party President Mr Wayne Swan, is currently raising $63 million from its members because the trustee (CFMEU) refuses to pay its own fines.
Superannuation is supposed to be for workers but it has turned into a sinkhole for unions and banks.
It is hard to think of another policy which allows political and private interests to directly benefit at the expense of Australian workers.
Union advertising during the upcoming election will be underwritten by superannuation. That is, retirement savings will pay for political advertising.
This data has been manually compiled from AEC returns as it is not voluntarily disclosed in annual reports or websites.
Significant law reform is required. The Future Fund should be made available to all Australians, capital requirements should be heavily strengthened and further transparency and disclosure reforms for the superannuation industry should be implemented.
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