Superannuation Industrial Complex

Superannuation industrial complex or is that industry super.

Last night while Spartacus was watching the NRL grand final, he noticed that the Melbourne Storm had an unusual sponsor on their jerseys – HostPlus.

Hostplus is the industry fund for those that live and love Australian hospitality, tourism, recreation and sport – we’re proud to support the industries that make Australia great. Because we’re an industry fund, we put our members first, that’s why we keep our fees low, our insurance flexible and offer a competitive suite of investment options. Simply put, we’re dedicated to ensuring our members retire with more.

The placement of Hostplus’ logo on the back, between the player shoulder blades and above the player number suggested that they are a major sponsor. An industry super fund sponsoring a professional rugby league team. That seemed odd. So a quick visit to the interweb seemed warranted.

For those also familiar with the governance of industry super funds, their boards tend to have a generous representation of employer groups and unions. In the case of Host Plus, the 3 Employer representatives are nominees of the Australian Hotels Association and the 3 Union representatives are the nominees of United Voice.

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA):

reflects the national pulse of the hotel and hospitality industry and addresses the central issues of shared concern. AHA serves to know the times and influence and shape the future. AHA does this by observing political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legislative trends.

Don’t you love it: serves to know the times and influence and shape the future.  Shape the future.

The AHA also has corporate partner.  It is difficult to understand what the purpose of a “Corporate Partner” of an industry association is, but guest who is also a corporate partner of the AHA?  If you guessed Hostplus, take a beer out of petty cash.  Oh and guess who is also a “Corporate Partner” of the AHA – ME Bank – the bank that is owned by …. Industry super funds of which Hostplus is one.

But wait.  There’s more.

United Voice is a nice benign and prosaic name for the union representing hospitality, health and aged care, children services, property services and manufacturing workers.  Apparently, United Voice is:

a union of workers organising to win better jobs, stronger communities, a fairer society and a sustainable future.

With employers and unions work together, the outcomes for workers are always good. Just ask the Cleanevent workers.

Interesting also that the Independent Chairman of Host Plus is Mr David Elmslie.
On its website, Host Plus lists one of Mr Elmslie’s professional experiences as being Chief Operating Officer International business for Crown Limited (2008-2010). Hmmm. Is not Crown Resorts Melbourne Storm’s major jersey sponsor?

On its website:

Hostplus is the industry fund for those that live and love Australian hospitality, tourism, recreation and sport.

It would be interesting to see how Hostplus would be governed and what they sponsor if:

Hostplus was the industry fund for the benefit of its members.

I wonder. Hmmmm.

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20 Responses to Superannuation Industrial Complex

  1. Roger

    I’m sure some of Australia’s lowest paid workers will be thrilled to know they are sponsoring millionaire rugby league players.

  2. RobK

    It’s good to see the elite putting something back. 🙂
    To a large extent compulsory super is a rort.

  3. Boyfromtottenham

    And good luck with members trying to find out what sponsorships their Super fund has signed up for, and for how much. But when a Super fund has rivers of gold (sorry, members hard earned 9 odd percent of their wages) flowing endlessly into their coffers, why bother keeping tabs on a few miserable millions, here or there? It makes one wonder what history will make of these Labor Party inspired funds in a few decades, when enough time has passed to fairly analyse whether the members got a fair shake or not. Personally I have done pretty well out of my fund, but I believe that those earning say below the ‘average wage’ should be allowed to opt out, on the basis that a big chunk of their contributions will be swallowed up by fees and various other charges, the result being that they have a high probability of relying on the Aged Pension at retirement.

  4. notafan

    Hostplus and a few industry other super funds (and Defence Reserve) ads were all over the AFL grand final, only ones that can afford to advertise in those prime spots.

    I found it very telling.

  5. notafan

    I wonder how many corporate boxes they have.

  6. EvilElvis

    Be really interesting when someone does a hatchet job on renewable energy subsidies. These industry funds will be wishing they’d funnelled more dollars into sponsorships. Better returns… 😉

  7. H B Bear

    Superannuation system working exactly the way Keating and Co intended it to, entrenching the maaaaaaates.

    Time to start taxing da bruvvas.

  8. Rusty of Qld

    The cowboys have LGIA Super as a sponsor. Used to be LG Super, the LG stood for Local Government. This is the compulsory super fund for all the councils in Queensland. They never used to sponsor anything or anybody but now they are going all “commercial” in this brave new world of high flying financial gurus.
    They also ceased the Defined Benefits super for new comers in 1999, so should be wearing away a lot of the old stagers by now. I don’t think the members get a direct vote on how to spend their money.

  9. Snoopy

    In the case of Host Plus, the 3 Employer representatives are nominees of the Australian Hotels Association and the 3 Union representatives are the nominees of United Voice.

    Sandra at the Pub’s antipathy to the Cowboys. Explained!

  10. Irreversible

    Tip of the iceberg. If these funds were required to report in the same way that public companies report there’d be a riot. These same trustees get stuck into companies with directors who stay longer than about 10 years, yet there are quite a few who’ve been on industry fund boards since inception. They do not disclose remuneration, consultancies, related activities expense (conferences, travel, board fees for related entities) not any of the usual requirements. They spend member money as they like, not only on sponsorships, but on all sorts of activities that do not contribute to savings balances.
    One of the worst is the media fund, so it’s no surprise that nothing is ever disclosed by media.

  11. I am glad to say that I have cashed out both of my Super funds and have invested elsewhere. A long way elsewhere.

  12. mizaris

    Just waiting until all the industry funds are exposed as the Ponzi schemes that they really are. No way in the real world, do these funds outperform other well managed funds. They have to be topped up from the bottom. Smoke and mirrors and everything else that Irreversible above has quoted.

  13. Up The Workers!

    Roger at 10.50 said:

    “I’m sure some of Australia’s lowest paid workers will be thrilled to know they are sponsoring millionaire rugby league players”.

    Why not?

    I’m sure that Australia’s lowest paid unionists in the H.S.U. (the A.L.P.’s “Help yourSelf Union”) were at least as thrilled to find out that they were paying for Craig Thomsons’ prolific itinerant sex-life in various brothels all up and down the Eastern Seaboard, and also for the A.L.P. Federal President, Michael Williamsons’ non-refundable, utterly non-taxable, $20 MILLION personal self-enrichment at their expense.

    Have any members of our crawling presstitute toadies, grovellers and A.L.P. brown-tongues asked Bull Shitten when he’ll be paying back the $20 MILLION with interest that his criminal former Party Federal President stole?

    How can Bull Shitten be trusted as Prime Minister if he won’t even stick up for innocent Unionists whose precious funds have been stolen by a notorious thieving crim who shows neither contrition, nor the merest intention of repayment of the stolen loot?

    A.L.P. – Always Looting the Poor!

  14. Squirrel

    Fairly standard bread and circuses stuff – keep the proles amused and distracted while the “some animals are more equal” crowd make out like bandits.

  15. It is as clear as a bell on a frosty night that compulsory super for those on low (let’s call it lower than average) incomes is not in their interests. I suspect the likes of Keating, Kelty, Weaven et al either didn’t understand this point when they pushed for the compulsory regime we have, or if they did, they wanted to impose the rules anyway – all in, no exceptions. The workers united shall never be defeated, and all that sort of thing.

  16. ArthurB

    Grace Collier and Judith Sloan have been writing about the rorts in the industry funds for a long time in the Oz. If Turnbull had a bit more courage he would introduce legislation for more transparency, and disclosure of the fees etc paid to the bovver boys of the Union movement. If McPeanut head wins the next election, you can guarantee that the rorts will continue.

  17. Real Deal

    Not sure if I read it, but me bank also sponsored the Storm for quite a few years.

  18. Defender of the faith

    David: you are quite right. There was a study published a few years ago that indicated net savings at average weekly earnings after 20 years of compulsion is zero. In other words the average income person borrowed as much as was saved. I think the study was by natstat or something like that.
    While many go on about the benefit of savings they don’t notice how we have vastly inflated the finance sector and probably inflated equities. A double bubble?

  19. Pyrmonter

    Is it worse than the Life Insurance turned “Financial Services” complex? Interesting that the bank-owner/sponsors of most of that sector are divesting themselves of their interests?

    Time for medium neutral savings policy anyone?

  20. Barry

    Hostplus also sponsor Richmond Tigers. So how good is that? They backed the storm in the NRL and the tigers in the AFL and they are currently the best performing super fund (see super ratings 3 year bakanced – flagship fund).

    They’re doing something good at Hostplus !!

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