9 August 2001

ALP, Democrats Deny Australian Workers Choice

By blocking the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Choice of Superannuation Funds) Bill 1998, the Senate has denied Australian workers the right to decide where their superannuation contributions go.

The position of the Labor Party can be summarised as: "We tell you, the employee, where to put your money, and don't you dare protest. Workers should not have a choice in relation to their superannuation. Labor would rather that superannuation contributions be directed into particular funds whether those funds are performing well or poorly."

Both parties, the ALP and Democrats, have shown their contempt for the rights of employees.

The Government consulted widely on the Choice of funds proposal, and the Bill enjoyed widespread support.

The Bill was designed to provide employees with greater ownership and control of their retirement savings. Choice would have been complemented by the introduction of the new disclosure regime under the Financial Services Reform Bill and the Government had committed $14m to an education campaign to ensure workers were fully informed of their new rights.

The Assistant Treasurer said that Choice has been operating effectively in Western Australia for some time and it's about time workers in all Australian States and Territories were given the same opportunity.

The Coalition Government remains committed to a choice of funds policy. It will provide greater rights for workers, will enhance competition and efficiency in the superannuation industry leading to reductions in fees and charges, and will deliver better retirement outcomes for Australian workers.


9 August 2001