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Industry funds delivered $742,091 to ACTU

Mike Taylor3 April 2024

Australia’s peak trade union body, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), has confirmed receiving $742,091 from industry superannuation funds in the form of both sponsorship and directors’ fees.

However, in doing so, it has made clear that the information on what it receives from the funds has always been publicly available via its filings to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and, where directors’ fees are concerned, the money is a reflection of “high-quality work”.

The ACTU has also argued that the services it provides to members of superannuation funds “are of excellent value”.

The ACTU’s robust response has come at the same time as the two largest superannuation industry lobby groups, the Super Members Council and the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) have defended their costs and the value they deliver to members.

Answering questions on notice as part of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee inquiry into the Objective of Superannuation legislation, the ACTU emphasised the value for money being achieved.

“Payment for directors’ fees is a normal compensation for the high-quality work and time required by directors for their role and is often confused with payments for services rendered. ACTU employees do not keep these fees personally, they elect the ACTU to receive payments to partially compensate for the time taken out of their full-time roles at the ACTU,” it said.

“The services we provide for members of superannuation funds are of excellent value. We conduct marketing and promotion at events and forums where working people and union members discuss their workplace rights, as well as the promotion of superannuation funds and fund services to assist members to make informed choices and to engage with their superannuation savings. This clearly aligns with members’ interests not only to join and remain in high quality superannuation funds, but in the funds’ interest in growing to reduce costs for members and attain the benefits of scale.”

“We remain the largest member organisation in the country with greater membership than any AFL or NRL club. We have more engagement with working people in their workplaces than any organisation in the country, and via marketing channels. We possess unique and extensive expertise in distributing information to working people about their rights and are trusted by millions of workers as a source of advice and support in their working and retirement lives.”

“We are extremely selective about our sponsorships and only enter into sponsorship agreements which deliver benefits to working people. This amplifies their value, yet they come at a marketing cost far less than other activities and sponsorships. We believe they are of excellent value for funds. The alignment of values between the union movement and profit-to-member superannuation funds means that these sponsorships are strong commercial partnerships that provide union members with information they want to receive, which improves their working and retirement lives.”

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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Opaque Industry Super
3 months ago

Industry Super Funds manage $1.4 TRILLION of people’s retirement funds.
Industry Super Funds have 10’s of millions of retirement fund accounts.
For such large Financial Organisations they have very opaque disclosures.

3 months ago

snout – trough – simple

3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Oink oink oink snuffle snuffle snuffle

“Industry funds only to benefit members”

The lies, hypocrisy and hubris remain completely unchecked.

one foot out the doora
3 months ago

There robust response means their feeling exposed and embarrassed – nothing to see here!!

Unions for the Bosses
3 months ago

Notice how their robust response has no detail on what was total donation $$$ and what was so called directors fees $ ???
If they have nothing to hide then why hide such details ???

Big Barry
3 months ago

industry superannuation funds if everyone is a member does everyone get the same benefits or do they have KPIs who gets more FUM or more fees gets the most donations. I bet you look at those two metrics and which super funds get the most “donations” unless the super fund can prove best interest for the members is numbers they have broken SIS laws.

3 months ago
Reply to  Big Barry

Pardon my stupidity but why are directors fees paid to unions ?? Is the management not up to the fund trustees

Unions for the Bosses
3 months ago
Reply to  Ken

The Industry Super Funds have paid employer representatives.
Simply Jobs for the Union Big Boys to make some cushy coin.

Wake Up
3 months ago

I read this and think, Advisers do want the best outcome for Australians, but we need to be asking questions such as why pay an ASIC Levy when it would be far more effective and quicker to each chip in and buy these corrupt clowns a Porsche?

One side has been playing honest the other has been playing dirty. I know which has been winning.

Please Please FAAA wake up and just ring up the Senators on the Economics committee and buy them a Ferrari with my members fees before it’s too late. Call it Consulting fees, Directors Fees.