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Royal commission prepares for super industry showdown

Adele Ferguson  |  10 July 2018  |  News

As the royal commission prepares for a showdown with the $2.6 trillion superannuation industry on August 6, it has assigned a team to trawl through submissions, meet key players and comb various reports including the Productivity Commission's landmark draft report into super.

There are a lot of rabbit warrens the royal commission could head down, the most popular being the political wars of industry funds and retail funds.

Retail funds have chronically underperformed industry funds over the past 12 years by almost 2 per cent, according to the Productivity Commission's draft report. But the real scandal is that one in four funds – retail, industry, corporate and government funds – persistently underperform and they have been allowed to get away with it.

Put simply, entrenched underperformance is system-wide and is costing Australians a fortune.

In the default segment of the market, the Productivity Commission's draft report spearheaded by Karen Chester identified 26 funds as persistent underperformers. They include 12 retail funds and 10 industry funds, which represent $62 billion of assets and 1.7 million member accounts.

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